The venerable BIOS will soon be replaced by a new technology called UEFI or Unified Extensible Firmware Interface which started its life, like the USB port and PCI bus, as an Intel technology.
BIOS came into life together with the first PC-compatible computers back when DOS and Microsoft were still new to the market.
It kickstarts the computer before the OS takes over and is therefore considered as an essential piece of software, so much so that to maintain compatibility, it has changed little over the past 25 years or so.
As for UEFI, well, its specification and the responsibility of its development now resides on the shoulders of a non-profit trade organisation, the UEFI Forum.
The main advantage of the UEFI - as reported by the BBC - will be that it will enable computers to boot from cold within seconds. It will not be instant on but pretty close with the industry expected to make the shift over the next three years.
Some firms which manufacture embedded computers have started to move to UEFI since 2009 but according to Brian Richardson, Senior Technical Marketing Engineer at American Megatrends Inc, one of the original BIOS makers, text-mode BIOS will still be a feature despite graphics user interfaces expected to become more popular.