Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Jumping to Conclusions on BIOS, Phoenix and Windows

A friend of mine IMed me a link to Digg the other day congratulating me on getting voted to the front page. Curious, I checked it out and I was found out it wasn't directly to my article, but to a forum post on
That forum post had a link in it from a small article I wrote four years ago. Even worse, the poster, who goes by the nom de plume "chessonly", tells a chilling tale of installing Windows XP and openSUSE on his Toshiba laptop only to find a BIOS password preventing him from booting later.

From this single short article and a BIOS text warning, chessonly has come to the conclusion that it must be a conspiracy between Microsoft and Phoenix that is preventing him from accessing his laptop. That conclusion is a logical leap at best and a flat-out guess at worst. There is no evidence other than chessonly's post and one other on a different site (that I frankly think he wrote as well) to support this.

The listings at Digg and Reddit did nothing but draw in the anti-Microsoft crowd and spread useless information that was backed up by extremely minimal research.

When I wrote the original piece on Phoenix's agreement with Microsoft four years ago, there was a real possibility that strong ties between BIOS vendors and Microsoft could lead to problems for the Linux community. The business reality of today is that any BIOS company would be stupid to tie themselves to a single operating system. It would make them pariahs of an almost SCO level.

Has Phoenix added features to its BIOS specifically to work with Windows features? Certainly they have. They are actually probably closer to Microsoft than I am comfortable with. But that does NOT mean they are locking out users of other operating systems. I am as wary of Microsoft as anyone, but the sky really needs to be falling before we scream and point. Otherwise our screams will not be heard when the sky really is falling.

  • 1