Even on a high-end PC, starting up often involves waiting a few seconds for the POST and BIOS sequences before the operating system starts loading up. Well, that may change soon. Engadget says Phoenix got that time down to "under a second" in a demo at the Intel Developer Forum.
According to the video Engadget shot, the Phoenix executive running the demo used a Lenovo ThinkPad with UEFI firmware, and indeed, the storage activity light started blinking pretty much immediately. For the unacquainted, UEFI, or Unified Extensible Firmware Interface, is essentially a next-gen BIOS replacement. Apple already uses EFI in all of its Intel-based Macs.
By my count, the system took only 12-13 seconds to go from the power button being pressed to entering the Windows 7 desktop. Impressive stuff. The Phoenix executive also ran a demo on a "retrofitted" Dell Adamo, but the boot process on that system took a little longer.