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Basic Input Output System has been the choice low-level firmware for PC manufacturers for close to 20 years. BIOS's most basic purpose is to handle the boot-up of the computer and to hand over control of the CPU to the Operating System. Intel is currently pushing for hardware manufacturers to move to more recent technologies, such as EFI, however Microsoft has hindered the effort with its failure to produce a 32-bit consumer operating system that supports anything but BIOS.

Open Firmware is used on PowerPC-based Macs as an alternative to BIOS, while EFI is used on Intel-based Macs.

See Also