Modern systems need not be held back by a legacy boot process (read as DOS).
Peter Seebach writes about alternative BIOS for PC.
From the article, "On many systems, a large portion of boot time goes into providing legacy support for MS-DOS. Various projects, including LinuxBIOS and Open Firmware, are trying to replace the proprietary BIOS systems with streamlined pieces of code able to do only what is necessary to get a LinuxÂ® kernel loaded and running. This article gives a brief overview of the field."
Read more at IBM developerworks...