Those crazy Linux boffins are at it again, this time creating an Open Source BIOS alternative. Currently, PC BIOS's are a strong pillar of closed source. But this may change in the future:
"....the "completely free" software will act as a replacement for the BIOS and "supports (without modification) either LILO or GRUB as bootloaders, and Linux, OpenBSD, and Windows 2000 as operating systems." The developers say they are working on the BIOS to be able to allow it to boot to FreeBSD and Windows XP. "Improving ATA support will permit Win98 and WinXP to boot," they reckon. "And finishing PIRQ support will permit FreeBSD to boot," they say."
There are some people who imagine a time where everything will be open source, and you the user will have the power to alter and recompile ANY software used by your computer at all! Open source OS is just the beginning.... what about open source firmware? Its all possible, you know, and this development is a step in the right direction.
However, you will no doubt be unsurprised to find out that currently, motherboard support for the open source BIOS is limited at best...