The Digg Effect: The Truth About Windows BIOS

Microsoft haters were ready with pitchforks and torches over a rumor that the Phoenix BIOS was locking users out of any other OS other than Vista. Notice however we said

April 24, 2007

1 Min Read
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When a friend IM'd me that I'd made the front page of Digg (followed by lots of activity on Reddit and Slashdot), I was cautiously excited. The reality was a bit more disconcerting, though.

Seems a reader on told a chilling tale of how he tried to open Windows XP and openSUSE on his Toshiba laptop, only to find a BIOS password prevented him from booting later. His claim: The Phoenix BIOS was "Vista-only." To support his claim, he'd "dug" up a short article I'd written for NWC four years ago that explored stronger ties between Microsoft and BIOS vendors.

With Microsoft-bashers out in full force, I took a moment to talk with Phoenix. The vendor admitted it added Windows-specific features to its BIOS but said it has never made a BIOS that would lock out OSs.

Bottom line: Phoenix is probably closer to Microsoft than I'm comfortable with, but that doesn't mean it's locking users out of other OSs. I am as wary of Microsoft as anyone, but the sky really needs to be falling before we scream and point. Otherwise our cries won't be heard if and when the heavens truly come crashing down on our heads. --Steven J. Schuchart Jr., [email protected]

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