ZDNet reports from the IDF that the days of the BIOS are counted since a new replacement system is currently in the works inside Chipzilla, if you ask me I must have to say it was about time.

The Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) promises to be some kind of small OS by itself, in fact the enhanced GUI might be the smallest of the changes from the original BIOS; finally partition and multiple OS managers will be built-in the system.

As part of the demonstration, he showed a network driver being replaced on a live machine, as well as multiple reconfigurations of various USB devices. Because EFI has its own filing system that lives on a reserved part of the hard disk, it can become the standard home for a whole set of utilities that have always had an awkward fit with the BIOS: things like disk partitioners, multiple OS boot controllers, system backup and restore, will be natural EFI applications.