Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 31st Oct 2011 12:25 UTC
Linux "Red Hat, Canonical and the Linux Foundation have laid out a set of recommendations for hardware vendors in hopes of preserving the ability to install Linux on Windows 8 machines. Windows 8 machines should ship in a setup mode giving users more control right off the bat, the groups argue." Group hug-cheer combo for Red Hat, Canonical, and the Linux Foundation please.
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Them are fighting words...
by transami on Mon 31st Oct 2011 13:46 UTC
transami
Member since:
2006-02-28

I can't believe Microsoft is getting away with this. Talk about you monopolistic powers. Where are the consumer protection agencies? Getting their palms greased, I'm sure.

Are hackers going to have to form PC-lynch mobs and bust PCs in the streets to stop this?

Reply Score: 7

v RE: Them are fighting words...
by twitterfire on Mon 31st Oct 2011 14:47 UTC in reply to "Them are fighting words..."
RE[2]: Them are fighting words...
by Alfman on Mon 31st Oct 2011 15:17 UTC in reply to "RE: Them are fighting words..."
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

twitterfire,

"...but they don't require secure boot to be enabled by default. Nobody stops hardware vendors to allow secure boot to be disabled."

I would like a citation for that because that seems to be a new piece of information. Will windows run normally without any restrictions if secure boot is disabled?

Reply Score: 5

Delgarde Member since:
2008-08-19

I would like a citation for that because that seems to be a new piece of information. Will windows run normally without any restrictions if secure boot is disabled?


New information? Hardly - look at any of the previous posts on the subject, and you'll see them talking about the OEM branding issue. Because from day one, that's what it's been about - OEMs can't put that little Windows sticker on the case if the machine doesn't use secure-boot.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Them are fighting words...
by Soulbender on Mon 31st Oct 2011 15:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Them are fighting words..."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

but they don't require secure boot to be enabled by default.


Actually, that's exactly what they do require if the vendor wants to have the "Designed for Windows 8" logo.
This anti-competitive practice isn't going to sit well in many parts of the world though.

Reply Score: 15

BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

It's not anti-competitive if you can turn it off. THe demo that they showed had an option to turn it off in the "BIOS", so what's the problem. It's no different than buying any other pc with Windows if it can be turned off.

Though it makes for some great FUD.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Them are fighting words...
by bnolsen on Mon 31st Oct 2011 15:57 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Them are fighting words..."
bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

But they are making it a PITA AND MS is requiring a very questionable feature to be implemented for certification. it's up to the board manufacturers to go out of their way to implement an "off switch" and then there's the whole issue that the board manufacturers don't have to implement the off switch.

So how is a purchaser supposed to know if they board they want to purchase has the forced feature disabled or not? Is it required as part of the packaging? Or someone is just "supposed to know" what they are getting supports the "off switch"?

What if someone just buys a system without knowing any better and later they want to play with other OS's and then find out the board doesn't support the off switch? Are they just SOL ?

Edited 2011-10-31 15:58 UTC

Reply Score: 12

BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

How is it a PITA? Going into the BIOS and turning it off is a pain in the ass? How lazy are you?

If a manufacturer can't read the specs of a particular MB, then they just suck, and should go out of business. If an enthusiast can't? Then they really suck.

This has as much meaning as the Processor IDs that Intel introduced with the P3, which is absolutely none. If you can't turn it off on a particular MB, then don't buy it. If you can't turn it off on a particular OEM computer, then don't buy it.

Vote with your dollars, and don't fall for the FUD.

Edited 2011-10-31 21:22 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

BluenoseJake,

"How is it a PITA? Going into the BIOS and turning it off is a pain in the ass? How lazy are you?"

There are really two issues at stake:

1. The ability to the option off AND have windows continue working without restriction so that dual boot is possible. It's entirely up to microsoft whether normal dual booting will be possible or not. If MS decide to require secure boot to boot a fully functional windows, then even with mainboards that allow users to disable the feature, it will be a major "pain in the ass".

2. The ability to keep the secure boot option on AND enable it for alternate operating systems. It's hard to justify a security measure being included in every system that, in effect, gives special treatment to the microsoft monopoly. It's a faulty design that doesn't deserve standardization if it can't be used effectively by third parties, which it won't be able to if owners don't control the keys.

"If a manufacturer can't read the specs of a particular MB, then they just suck, and should go out of business."

??

"If an enthusiast can't? Then they really suck."

Do you honestly think stores will bother distinguishing between "designed for windows" and "locked to windows"? Most consumers won't know that it works or not until it fails to boot. Now dual booting might only affect a minority of users, but for those of us in that minority, it really does suck.

I purchased a number of secondhand machines extremely cheap to use as linux servers - some came with windows licenses, others didn't, but I didn't really care since I was confident linux would run fine on them, and I was right. Unfortunately secure boot, as spec'ed, may very well add artificial restrictions on what these machines can run. Now tell us again it's not a PITA.

And as someone else said, it's not just linux. All other operating systems are at risk, especially enthusiast operating systems. None of this "secure boot" would be at all controversial if the engineers had only placed the actual owners at the top of the chain of trust. This is all so obvious that it's hard to imagine it not being a deliberate goal for DRM purposes.

Edited 2011-11-01 00:41 UTC

Reply Score: 9

BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

I'd say if MS cripples Windows is secure boot is turned off, they are only shooting themselves in the ass, that's a bogus argument, they'd be crazy to do it. If they did do it, they lose, and they wouldn't do it, because if they did, they would be losing all the geeks that use WinPE boot disks for maintenance, all the people who dual boot for compatibility reasons with older versions of Windows (which they said would be supported), older computers that don't have UEFI, as well as all the dual booting lInux and BSD users. Lets get real.

On your second point, I don't know any computer enthusiast, hard core gamer, or geek who doesn't research the hell out of a MB purchase, at least all the one I know do. When do we take responsibility for our own actions? If I go to a store and buy a MB, or order it online, if it doesn't meet my immediate needs, then it goes back, or gets sold.

Just don't support manufacturers that don't allow it to be turned off. Intel tried the same thing with that Processor ID I mentioned earlier, and there isn't a MB in the universe where it can't be turned off (and usually defaults to off).

We're arguing something that hasn't even happened yet. Why don't we all wait, and see what happens. until then, all I hear is a lot of FUD. (3 times inone day, wow.)
]

Reply Score: 1

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

So how is a purchaser supposed to know if they board they want to purchase has the forced feature disabled or not? Is it required as part of the packaging? Or someone is just "supposed to know" what they are getting supports the "off switch"?


Since there are motherboard manufacturers who cater to hardcore gamers that like to run multiple video cards and overclock their CPUs, I'm pretty sure that a few of them will make boards with this option turned off, and will advertise that fact. Afterall, I'd like to think there are at least as many Linux users out there as hardcore gamers.

Sure, this may prevent major OEMs from offering 'Windows 8 certified' machines that can run Linux, but let's be realistic... if desktop Linux hasn't yet caught on to the point where major OEMs want to pimp it, it probably never will. It's always going to be an OS primarily used by geeks.

Reply Score: 1

tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Sure, this may prevent major OEMs from offering 'Windows 8 certified' machines that can run Linux,


No, wrong. All that an OEM has to do is implement UEFI in its entirety. It doesn't have to turn it on.


but let's be realistic... if desktop Linux hasn't yet caught on to the point where major OEMs want to pimp it, it probably never will. It's always going to be an OS primarily used by geeks.


You do realize that you've just insulted somebody's religion, right? ;-)

Reply Score: 2

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

It's not anti-competitive if you can turn it off.


It is still hindering the competition so yes, it is. Perhaps not as blatantly so as requiring that it should not be possible to disable secure boot but anti-competitive nonetheless.

THe demo that they showed had an option to turn it off in the "BIOS", so what's the problem.


There's a problem if there is no option to turn it off. Considering all the nasty clauses MS has tried to put in their OEM contracts over the years it's not impossible that such a clause would appear at some point in time.

Reply Score: 4

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

By your logic, having to press F12 on my keyboard to choose another boot device is that a hinderence to installing another OS?

Reply Score: 2

tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

It's not anti-competitive if you can turn it off. THe demo that they showed had an option to turn it off in the "BIOS", so what's the problem. It's no different than buying any other pc with Windows if it can be turned off.

Though it makes for some great FUD.


I find it rather disappointing that people are modding down comments like yours -- which are actually pretty informative -- because they don't like UEFI. The issue of preventing OEMs from creating dual-boot machines has been litigated by the USDOJ already, and Microsoft is under a consent decree monitored by government lawyers for all new Windows features.

The point that I think people are missing is that Microsoft isn't telling OEMs that they must turn UEFI ON by default to get a logo sticker. They aren't allowed to do that. What they are saying is that an OEM *must* implement UEFI functionality -- even if they ultimately decide to turn it OFF by default and/or make it BIOS-selectable.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Them are fighting words...
by Morgan on Mon 31st Oct 2011 22:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Them are fighting words..."
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

...they don't require secure boot to be enabled by default.


Maybe not yet. Perhaps when Windows 9 rolls around though, and all modern computers have the Secure Boot feature, we will see a dialog during the Windows install process that says something like "In order to continue installing, please *click here* to turn on Secure Boot." Since the vast majority of users, even power users, will simply click and not think about it, it's entirely possible that Microsoft will not only turn it on but insert code that prevents it being turned back off for other OSes.

Then again, it could end up like the Pentium III processor serial number debacle: One BIOS update to turn it off by default in the original boards and it's never heard of again.

Reply Score: 2

We'll just hack it
by Alfman on Mon 31st Oct 2011 15:15 UTC
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

The spec doesn't require manufacturers to provide owners with a means to control the keys. What this amounts to is a plea with vendors to give owners control out of the goodness of their hearts. That said it's an excellent read and everyone here should read it.


I just wanted to address a few points with the "We'll just hack it" philosophy, since it's come up surprisingly frequently in previous threads.

First of all, "secure boot" is likely to be far more difficult for an owner to break into than a typical OS because there are fewer attack vectors. Whereas I might be able to run a rooting app to escalate privileges in the OS to bypass it's security, end users generally can't run arbitrary code within the BIOS to launch a privilege escalation attack. Unless manufacturers leave a (public or private) security back door in their implementation, the secure boot spec requires that the owner has access to the previous key in order to set a new key.

Secure boot won't be universally broken. Any exploits would have to be implementation specific. Unlike, say an iphone, any unlocking solutions will be fragmented and dependent on a matrix of factors.

If we do find that there is a software exploit which allows owners to root their own motherboards without using designed security channels, then secure boot becomes totally worthless against the malware it is supposed to keep out. (Although I still suspect that the design was to keep the owners out).

The community is still waiting for answers from microsoft as to how windows will run without secure boot enabled, which would alleviate and/or confirm many of our suspicions.

Reply Score: 7

...
by Straho on Mon 31st Oct 2011 15:28 UTC
Straho
Member since:
2011-09-30

Today is more simple to install Ubuntu, Mint or Fedora, MS aren't happy with that. People in Asia, South America and South and Eastern Europe use pirate Windows,MS aren't happy with that. Some people in this countries even think for local Linux Distributions like national alternative for big ugly corporate OS, MS are angry with that. MS produce user base with free licenses for education and governments and millions of pirate copies of windows in this countries, but most people uninstall vista to install pirate xp.
That's MS chance to capitalize this developing countries and lock them to company products. I hope small and local OEMs to get this chance and produce non-windows hardware. For example Pardus will equip turkish schools with linux computers and tablets. That's big opportunity and must be used be local companies and governments.
Excuse me for my bad English.

Reply Score: 6

RE: ...
by Alfman on Mon 31st Oct 2011 16:18 UTC in reply to "..."
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Straho,

"I hope small and local OEMs to get this chance and produce non-windows hardware. For example Pardus will equip turkish schools with linux computers and tablets. That's big opportunity and must be used be local companies and governments."

Interesting, MS is generally the benefactor of secure boot because they are a monopoly in most places. But in theory, secure boot could be used to exclude windows in favor of something else. Some people might enjoy the revenge aspect, but personally I'd be just as disappointed in my lack of control over my own machine.

Once a repressive government regime gets ahold of this and mandates their own keys in consumer gear, only then will people realize how Orwellian secure boot really is.

Edit: Just because I don't want people misrepresenting my view, I'd like to state again that a secure boot feature is a good thing, but only if it's entirely under the control of the true owner. A secure boot specification which allows for the possibility of the owner to be permanently locked out by third parties is nefarious.

Edited 2011-10-31 16:29 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE[3]: They have plenty of reasons...
by zima on Mon 31st Oct 2011 21:56 UTC in reply to "..."
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

People in Asia, South America and South and Eastern Europe use pirate Windows,MS aren't happy with that.

They're relatively almost-happy, we had some big fishes from MS expressing how they very much prefer it to people being exposed to alternative operating systems (some examples: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_infringement_of_software#.22... )

Edited 2011-10-31 22:01 UTC

Reply Score: 5

Straho Member since:
2011-09-30

[q] As long as they are going to steal it, we want them to steal ours. They'll get sort of addicted, and then we'll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.
—Bill Gates[q]
I'm not sure when BG said that, but was long ago. May be next decade already come.

Reply Score: 0

v Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Mon 31st Oct 2011 16:35 UTC
RE: Comment by ilovebeer
by Alfman on Mon 31st Oct 2011 17:09 UTC in reply to "Comment by ilovebeer"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

ilovebeer,

"First of all there is no such thing as a right to dual-boot. Far too often people think they have rights that don't actually exist. This is one of those cases. Sorry, the law is not on your side."

The law doesn't take any sides at all since this is all very new. Manufacturers don't have a right to prohibit dual boot either, see what I did there?

"Further, it's childish that people are pissing themselves over the _idea_ that they may not be able to install something other than Windows 8 on a system that is 'designed for Windows 8'"

The public looses out when a once open ecosystem becomes closed and locked, do you deny this?


"Additionally, if you insist on thinking the sky is falling, you should be addressing your panic towards those who agree to the terms Microsoft has put forth, not Microsoft themselves as they're not doing anything wrong and may certainly protect their interests by any means within the law."

Everyone involved deserves criticism *including* microsoft!


"This is not the best analogy but it still serves the purpose..."

Boy your right, it's a terrible analogy. A more accurate one would be an unleaded car that only excepts EXON fuel and will not run with other unleaded fuels.

"Assuming the reality will be that only Windows 8 may be installed on these systems, you understand that you're buying a product with an intended design and purpose"

Many families will buy "designed for win8" computers and intend to use mostly windows. But some of them may eventually want to try out linux too (maybe they have children who are interested in learning it). Or they might want to re-purpose an old computer. The reason most of us linux guys are balking at 3rd party controls is because reusing a windows machine is precisely how most of us learned linux in the first place. We don't all have the cash to buy a dedicated machine to try an OS we've never used before, particularly as kids. One of the great benefits of linux is being able to try it out along side windows.

Unless you are bothered that linux is taking away windows market share in this way, I doubt you have a good reason to argue against having OS choice in the hands of the owners.

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Thu 3rd Nov 2011 07:02 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by ilovebeer"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

The law doesn't take any sides at all since this is all very new. Manufacturers don't have a right to prohibit dual boot either, see what I did there?
You're wrong. Vendors are certainly within their rights to place restrictions on how their hardware functions. Further, they are protected by law against those who misuse the hardware.

The public looses out when a once open ecosystem becomes closed and locked, do you deny this?
I tend to agree with that idea. However, it's not applicable as a users ability to purchase a system with a pre-installed OS other than Windows, barebones with no OS installed, or the ability to build their own system is still perfectly intact.

Everyone involved deserves criticism *including* microsoft!
Here's the thing about criticism... For it to be anything more than hot air, it has to be justifiable. Whining about _only_ the _possibility_ that a user may not be able to use an OS other than Windows 8, on a pre-build system "Designed for Windows 8", is certainly not justification. I have little sympathy for people who buy a product and then cry foul play when they try to use the product in a way other than intended and it doesn't work.

If you don't want to use Windows 8, don't be an idiot and buy a system designed to run only Windows 8.

Boy your right, it's a terrible analogy. A more accurate one would be an unleaded car that only excepts EXON fuel and will not run with other unleaded fuels.
That's even worse.

Many families will buy "designed for win8" computers and intend to use mostly windows. But some of them may eventually want to try out linux too (maybe they have children who are interested in learning it). Or they might want to re-purpose an old computer. The reason most of us linux guys are balking at 3rd party controls is because reusing a windows machine is precisely how most of us learned linux in the first place. We don't all have the cash to buy a dedicated machine to try an OS we've never used before, particularly as kids. One of the great benefits of linux is being able to try it out along side windows.
People who may eventually want to try an alternate OS should take that into consideration before buying a system. The fact still remains that you know what you are buying. If you don't like it, don't buy it.

Unless you are bothered that linux is taking away windows market share in this way, I doubt you have a good reason to argue against having OS choice in the hands of the owners.
I have no problem with users being able to choose which OS they want to use. But, that is not a right, and if the user wants choice then the user needs to consider that when purchasing hardware. If the user makes poor purchasing decisions, well, maybe they'll be smarter about it next time.

It should be pointed out, again, that there isn't a single shred of evidence that says users who do purchase "Designed for Windows 8" systems won't be able to install an alternate OS. If that ever does become a reality then again, if you don't want to be limited to Windows 8 but yet buy hardware that limits you to Windows 8, then you have nobody to blame but yourself.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by ilovebeer
by Alfman on Thu 3rd Nov 2011 08:31 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

ilovebeer,

"You're wrong. Vendors are certainly within their rights to place restrictions on how their hardware functions. Further, they are protected by law against those who misuse the hardware. "

Come again? Once I *own* the computer, it's mine to do with as I please.

"I tend to agree with that idea. However, it's not applicable..."

However nothing... I was countering your claim that we are childish over the idea of loosing rights.

"Here's the thing about criticism... For it to be anything more than hot air, it has to be justifiable."

Yes, and it turns out that microsoft plays a large hand in whether we'll be able to dual boot or not. I'll not repeat myself again though.

"That's even worse."

It sure is worse for microsoft's image, I'll give you that. But as an analogy it's more accurate because your car is rejecting unleaded fuel which would otherwise be compatible. Anyways, analogies are a waste of time, I was just correcting yours.

"People who may eventually want to try an alternate OS should take that into consideration before buying a system. The fact still remains that you know what you are buying. If you don't like it, don't buy it."

Sure you can blame the customer. However this argument hardly seems sincere; What reason do consumers have to suspect that their new computers will have microsoft security keys hard coded into them that they can't change? Most linux newbies don't start with a dedicated system, I didn't. I didn't even buy my own machines until I was older. 15 years ago I had a pet OS of my own when I was still a windows guy. But of course none of this matters in your crusade against linux. You may not admit it, but if the situation were reversed, it seems to me that you'd be crying fowl too.


"I have no problem with users being able to choose which OS they want to use."

...but you'll defend a feature which hard codes microsoft keys and doesn't allow users to change them...yea right, that lie is as clear as day. If you truly didn't mind what OS users chose, then you would agree with me that the spec fails to accommodate secure booting of alternate operating systems, and places dual booting at risk (depending on microsoft's actions).


"It should be pointed out, again, that there isn't a single shred of evidence that says users who do purchase 'Designed for Windows 8' systems won't be able to install an alternate OS"

Please do all of us a favor and read the arguments again. What is your problem, if any, with the recommendations given by the linux foundation? They put all operating systems on an equal footing, without giving microsoft a hard coded security advantage.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Thu 3rd Nov 2011 16:09 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by ilovebeer"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

Come again? Once I *own* the computer, it's mine to do with as I please.
That's a very common misconception. Too bad it's not supported by law. Not in the US anyways.

However nothing... I was countering your claim that we are childish over the idea of loosing rights.
You can not lose rights you never had to begin with. Sooner or later you'll have to accept that there's a big difference between rights you think or assume you have, and ones you actually do. I'll repeat it again.... You can not lose rights you never had to begin with.

Yes, and it turns out that microsoft plays a large hand in whether we'll be able to dual boot or not. I'll not repeat myself again though.

Only in terms of pre-built systems that are "Designed for Windows 8". We just went down this road, have you already forgotten users have several other options on the table if they don't like what buying a pre-built "Designed for Windows 8" _could_ get them?

Sure you can blame the customer. However this argument hardly seems sincere; What reason do consumers have to suspect that their new computers will have microsoft security keys hard coded into them that they can't change?
Most users who buy a Windows system intend to use Windows. And yes, the customer is exactly who is to blame if they've purchased hardware that doesn't suit their needs. It certain isn't the vendor or Microsofts fault they made a poor purchasing decision.

Most linux newbies don't start with a dedicated system, I didn't. I didn't even buy my own machines until I was older. 15 years ago I had a pet OS of my own when I was still a windows guy. But of course none of this matters in your crusade against linux. You may not admit it, but if the situation were reversed, it seems to me that you'd be crying fowl too.
So you are whining about "Designed for Windows 8" system users potentially not being able to use those systems to turn into Linux newbies.. And you don't see any childishness in that. Funny.

By the way, you are, of course, wrong that I would be crying foul were the roles reversed. My statements, comments, and opinions would be identical. What you fail to realize is that I couldn't care less what role each OS plays. It's the users responsibility to buy a system that suits their needs.

As far as this imaginary "crusade against linux" you claim I have. I guess you've missed previous posts where I've said very clearly I use both just about equally. In addition I've also said both are great in some areas, both are shit in some areas, and neither beats out the other hands down in everything.

...but you'll defend a feature which hard codes microsoft keys and doesn't allow users to change them...yea right, that lie is as clear as day. If you truly didn't mind what OS users chose, then you would agree with me that the spec fails to accommodate secure booting of alternate operating systems, and places dual booting at risk (depending on microsoft's actions).
I'm stating my opinions and certainly have neither reason, nor the immaturity to lie about it. You on the other hand seem to have no problem coming up with false claims, imaginary rights, and assumptions that have absolutely nothing to support them.

Now.. As I said, I have no problem with a user choosing which OS to use. They should thinking about their needs and pick whichever OS best suits them. But, their personal responsibility doesn't stop there. They should also pick hardware that suits those needs as well. Ignore it all you want but it remain true regardless.

Please do all of us a favor and read the arguments again. What is your problem, if any, with the recommendations given by the linux foundation? They put all operating systems on an equal footing, without giving microsoft a hard coded security advantage.
Microsoft is within its legal rights to establish terms and conditions to protect their products. Vendors can elect to consent or not. And users have several other options available to them in the event that purchasing a "Designed for Windows 8" system doesn't suit their needs. The linux foundation isn't doing anything other than asking for a favor -- that these companies willingly act in favor of linux interests rather than their own.

Unlike others, I am not being brainwashed to think the sky is falling. I haven't lost sight of the fact that absolutely no choice has been taken away from the user. I'm not fooled into panic and fear.

Feel free to entertain us by arguing against the fact that people may still buy systems with other OS'es installed on them, buy barebones systems with no OS installed, or build their own custom system.

Reply Score: 1

unnecessary
by grimshaid on Mon 31st Oct 2011 18:16 UTC
grimshaid
Member since:
2010-10-28

What I find most disappointing in this is that just when MS does something rather good in the release of Win 7, which I think we'll all agree is a massive improvement in many areas over their previous offerings, they have to turn around and pull this anti-competitive crap. It's unnecessary really - they already hold the market share and will probably continue to do so without locking folks out with something like a secure boot option. I understand the idea behind the statement concerning greater protection from rootkits, but in reality the folks who wrote rootkits in the first place are probably bright enough to find their way around this obstacle as well, given time. As for the comment above about computers designed for Win 8, it seems to me that the only thing designed for Win 8 in these machines is having that lockout switch enabled to prevent anyone from being able to use the machine for another OS in the future. If that's the case then the hardware manufacturers are being rather dishonest as well in presenting this as some sort of specific design when in reality they're just cozying up to MS for a little discount on the pre-installed OS and a pretty sticker for the case.

Reply Score: 4

v Linux has it wrong.
by jefro on Mon 31st Oct 2011 19:42 UTC
RE: Linux has it wrong.
by Morgan on Mon 31st Oct 2011 19:49 UTC in reply to "Linux has it wrong. "
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Except this isn't just a Linux issue. It's an issue for ANY non-Microsoft OS. I know GNU/Linux gets all the press and glory but it's one of hundreds of OSes that one can, as of today, install on commodity hardware.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Linux has it wrong.
by Alfman on Mon 31st Oct 2011 19:50 UTC in reply to "Linux has it wrong. "
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

jefro,

"The linux group ought to support a measure to protect their OS from hacking. They ought to get on board with a similar method to firewall the OS from hacking. It would be a trivial matter to use the Window 8 scheme to their advantage."

If you had read the document, you would realize that you are in agreement with them. They are asking manufacturers to allow end users to install their own keys, so that they may secure whatever OS they choose, including linux and windows. Seriously, go read it before judging them.

Reply Score: 5

Just a thought...
by Morgan on Mon 31st Oct 2011 19:47 UTC
Morgan
Member since:
2005-06-29

I find it quite ironic that because of this, it's possible in the next few years Apple hardware will be more alt-OS friendly than "generic" PC hardware. After all, they don't give a damn about Windows 8 Logo certification.

Perhaps if that comes to be I will have to consider dropping my personal boycott on Apple products. That, or go ARM all the way, even on the desktop.

Reply Score: 6

Initial Steps
by OSGuy on Tue 1st Nov 2011 04:30 UTC
OSGuy
Member since:
2006-01-01

This is the first step of waiving control over your own hardware - literally. Unfortunately if this is not stopped, a lot of average and unsuspecting users not aware of this "feature" will end up buying systems which they will regret later on. The same thing happened with VT-x. When I got my laptop, I went to the store and I requested that I access the laptop's BIOS to see if it lets me turn on VT-x. A lot of laptops' CPUs supported VT-x at the time of purchase but the motherboard will not let you turn it on....I don't know which company is more evil, MS or Apple but if worst comes to worst, you can just build your own laptop or get a local shop to build it for you and put Linux on it....You no longer need real Windows really...You can just virtualize it.

Edited 2011-11-01 04:36 UTC

Reply Score: 6

MS is desperate
by unclefester on Tue 1st Nov 2011 11:38 UTC
unclefester
Member since:
2007-01-13

MS isn't worried about a few enthusiasts installing Linux. They are worried about hundreds of millions of computers in developing countries running Linux over the next few years.

The secure boot feature is intended to a) stop Dell, HP etc selling Linux machines by withholding Windows 8 certification and b) stop the post-sales installation of pirated copies of Windows.

Russia has already decreed that all government PCs will be running Linux by 2013.

The Indian state of Kerala has switched to a customised Debian Linux in high schools and government offices.

China will purchase 72 million computers this year and surpass US sales within a year. Dell has just announced that their 220 stores in China are selling PCs preloaded with Ubuntu to consumers.

Reply Score: 6

TPM
by p13. on Tue 1st Nov 2011 12:32 UTC
p13.
Member since:
2005-07-10

This is the TPM fiasco all over again.
It won't happen. If MS decides to make it mandatory, then they won't be able to sell the OS outside of the US.

MS is arrogant at times, sure, but they aren't stupid. Well ... not THAT stupid anyway.

I think what they will try to do is make it mandatory for OEM licenses to manufacturers. That way, OEM copies cannot be installed on old/non-authorized machines. I suspect that would still be illegal here though ...

-Kevin

Edited 2011-11-01 12:34 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: TPM
by unclefester on Tue 1st Nov 2011 13:11 UTC in reply to "TPM"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

Ballmer really is that stupid. He still thinks he's selling soap powder at Proctor & Gamble.

Edited 2011-11-01 13:12 UTC

Reply Score: 5

Microsoft Tries This Every Few Years
by benali72 on Thu 3rd Nov 2011 13:52 UTC
benali72
Member since:
2008-05-03

Microsoft has tried to implement a lock-down like this every few years. Past attempts include: Palladium, NGSCB (Next Generation Secure Computing Base), TPM (Trusted Platform Module), and Trustworthy Computing.

The question is whether the computer industry will fight back successfully against this effort as it has against past efforts.

My guess is Yes. While the OEM's are under Microsoft's monopolistic thumb, it is so important to them to keep their options open for alternative sales that they will risk Microsoft's ire and keep their systems open through a BIOS switch. (Of course users will have to be sophisticated enough to go into the config panels to change it...)

Reply Score: 2