Well, the Lenovo 3000 series is not a ThinkPad, it is not even CLOSE to a ThinkPad, and I'd
guess it doesn't get the same quality of support a ThinkPad does either.
I know of no recent ThinkPad without self-contained ISO images for BIOS and EC firmware
updates. I just checked, even the brand-new X300 has them.
The only firmware a ThinkPad needs windows to update, AFAIK, is Intel's AMT enterprise remote
management stuff. I need to find out more about AMT before commenting on this, for all I know
it could even be completely useless outside of a Microsoft Windows world.