EFI-based MSI motherboard coming next month?

— 11:04 AM on January 16, 2008

The first Extensible Firmware Interface specification was released at the start of this decade, introducing a more modern and full-featured interface between a system's hardware and operating system than the aging BIOS. With the notable exception of Apple's Mac lineup, though, EFI support on consumer hardware has been essentially non-existent. Microsoft hasn't supported EFI in consumer releases of Windows, either, and only Windows Vista x64 will be compatible once Vista's first service pack comes out this quarter.

According to a report on Chinese site Expreview, this sluggish adoption hasn't stopped MSI from developing a motherboard that features an EFI chip. The mobo in question will be dubbed P35-Neo3, and Expreview says MSI plans to release it some time in February. The board's name suggests it will be based on Intel's P35 Express chipset.

Expreview has posted a couple of screenshots of MSI's EFI control panel in action, which depict styled menus, a fancy backdrop image, and a mouse cursor. EFI will allow users to browse through menus with their mouse just like in a proper operating system. Other hardware will reportedly be supported, as well, such as optical drives. (Thanks to TR reader albundyhere for the tip.)

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