UEFI stands for "Unified Extensible Firmware Interface". The UEFI specification defines a new model for the interface between personal-computer operating systems and platform firmware. The interface consists of data tables that contain platform-related information, plus boot and runtime service calls that are available to the operating system and its loader. Together, these provide a standard environment for booting an operating system and running pre-boot applications.
The Unified EFI Forum is the group responsible for developing, managing and promoting UEFI specifications. Further information about the UEFI specification and membership opportunities can be found throughout this web site noted in 'More Information' section below.
Many systems manufactured with Windows 8 installed utilize UEFI style firmware for initial system configuration. This initial configuration and preparation for the operating system is called "Booting" and the process is under the control of UEFI firmware embedded within the system. Collectively, the several procedures within the UEFI firmware that add security to the boot process are known as "UEFI Secure Boot."
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More Information From The Web:
Additional information about UEFI can be found in documents at http://www.uefi.org
Additional information about Windows 8 and UEFI can be found in documents at http://www.microsoft.com
One source of detailed information about Windows 8 and UEFI is this document: http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/system/platform/firmware/UEFI_Windows.mspx