BIOS upgrades that don't require Windows
BIOS upgrades shouldn't require Windows. A bootable BIOS upgrade CD should be available.
I'm an Ubuntu Linux user. I bought my wife a laptop from a different manufacturer, which had Vista preinstalled. My wife refused to agree to the terms of the Vista End User License. But she had some problem that made the system almost unusable under Linux, which was fixed by a BIOS update. But the BIOS updater could only be run under Vista. No bootable CD. Wouldn't even work under Windows XP! In the end, we were forced to agree to the Vista License just to be able to upgrade the BIOS.
Now, I'm looking at buying a Dell Studio 17 notebook, but I see the same issue: the BIOS upgrade says it can only be run from Vista. So, I'm still shopping around with other manufacturers. That's the only thing keeping me from buying the Studio 17.
Please see matt_d's comment