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Microsoft BIOS


© October 2003 Tony Lawrence

Fri Oct 3 21:32:57 GMT 2003 Microsoft BIOS

Link: Microsoft moves to integrate Windows with BIOS

This is scary. Obviously the DRM part is a concern, but I think there is even more to worry about. If Microsoft gets very cozy with Phoenix at this level, what's to stop Windows from working better on Phoenix BIOSes and even more disturbing, what's to stop the BIOS from NOT working well with Linux et al. "accidentally on purpose"?

They've done this before:

(From Hard Drive: Bill Gates and the Making of the Microsoft Empire)

According to one Microsoft programmer, a few of the key people working on DOS 2.0 had a saying at the time that "DOS isn't done until Lotus won't run." They managed to code a few hidden bugs into DOS 2.0 that caused Lotus 1-2-3 to breakdown when it was loaded. "There were as few as three or four people who knew this was being done," the employee said. He felt the highly competitive Gates was the ringleader.

Coding a BIOS that would run slowly or quirkily with non-Microsoft OSes wouldn't be hard - in fact, they could even admit it and explain it away as unavoidable. People trying out alternatives would have a less than pleasant time, might have to disable desirable features, give up certain peripherals or accept lowered performance - who knows?

Scary stuff, I think.


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