INTEL IS set to drop support for legacy BIOS systems by 2020, in a move that will likely render an awful lot of old software unable to run natively on new Intel-based machines after this date.
The BIOS on older machines helps initialise hardware during its boot-up phase and provides a bootloader for the operating system. In more recent years, the BIOS has been replaced by the UEFI (currently Class 2) system, which stands for Unified Extensible Firmware Interface, but support for older software has been maintained through use of a compatibility support module (CSM).
The UEFI Class 3 system will remove support for this software module, thereby ending support for any non-64-bit operating systems or software. As noted by Anandtech, it'll also mean that any non-compliant older hardware, such as graphics cards, network cards and some storage adaptors, would also stop working.
As this change will undoubtedly cause a lot of headaches for many users, Intel says it's working with its industry partners to smooth the transitionary period.
Brian Richardson, Intel's Senior Technical Marketing Manager, said in a white paper announcing the decision that the CSM represents a potential security risk and that the aim is to "eliminate components with no UEFI support" in both client and data centre platforms by 2020.
Of course, what this could spell is an opportunity for AMD to continue supporting older hardware and software in the interim, but it's not really a viable long-term plan, given the restrictions it places on software and potential security issues as time progresses. µ
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