UEFI replaces conventional BIOS interface in Windows 8
Since its launch of a developer preview version in BUILD 2011 conference, Windows 8 is making news almost every day. This time, the debate is over the extended support of Windows 8 for UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface). UEFI was developed to replace the decades-old BIOS (Basic Input/output System) mechanism. Its first version was developed by Unified EFI Forum (an alliance between leading technology companies such as AMD, Apple, Dell, Intel, Lenovo, etc.) in 2005. It was based on the original Intel EFI (Extensible Firmware Interface) specification, version EFI 1.10.
Machines based on UEFI render better competencies to Windows 8, including rich graphical experience by means of Graphic Output Protocol (GOP) driver. In addition to this, it enables the Windows 8 operating system to interact with the boot firmware in ways that are more standardized.
At a glance, Windows 8 has two direct advantages in terms of UEFI mechanism – the enhanced visual experience and the secure boot feature. Secure boot is a firmware validation process. It defines the way the firmware platform manages security certificates, validation of firmware, and the protocol between the operating system and the firmware. Microsoft is implementing Windows Certificate program on systems shipping with Windows 8 to further enhance the security standards of secure boot.
The program ensures following key points:
• Secure boot enabled by default
• No programmatic control of secure boot
• No unauthorized firmware update
Microsoft explains that this customized security standard helps it to raise the bar by higher system integrity and thus, enables strong level of protection. UEFI is certainly one of the most stringent security inclusions in Windows 8. With such dedication for this operating system, users would already be waiting for its retail release.