Free BIOS: The latest open-source inanity

Commentary — In what may be its most ludicrous move in years, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) announced its campaign for a free BIOS.

I should mention that as a rule, I think open-source is cool. But this free BIOS idea is just inane.

The FSF is complaining about the strong opposition it is getting from chip makers. No wonder…

The BIOS, or Basic Input-Output System, provides low-level communication, operation and configuration to the hardware of a system. Among other jobs, it loads the OS in the RAM.

Now, if you project yourself 10 years onwards, you’ll have replaced that single-chip, single-core computer of yours by leveraging on-demand resources from network-centric grid computing infrastructures. And to maximize performance, the BIOS may very well be all the software many systems will have in this future. Thus, there is a good case for a free BIOS project.

The FSF, however, should get real regarding chip maker cooperation: They might as well ask them to reveal their trade secrets and blueprints.