Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 23rd Sep 2011 22:22 UTC, submitted by kragil
Windows The story about how secure boot for Windows 8, part of UEFI, will hinder the use of non-signed binaries and operating systems, like Linux, has registered at Redmond as well. The company posted about it on the Building Windows 8 blog - but didn't take any of the worries away. In fact, Red Hat's Matthew Garrett, who originally broke this story, has some more information - worst of which is that Red Hat has received confirmation from hardware vendors that some of them will not allow you to disable secure boot.
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RE[2]: Comment by Luminair
by Alfman on Sat 24th Sep 2011 05:02 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Luminair"
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"It's not like MS has a monopoly on the desktop either, when you consider that it competes with OSX, as well as smartphones and tablets these days."

Semantically, it depends on the definition you choose to use for monopoly. While there's no market share breakdown which is universally agreed upon, individual markets do define what it means to legally be a monopoly.

In the UK, I've read that's it is a 25% market share. In the US 50% qualifies as a monopoly. A "pure monopoly" would be 100%, but I'm not really sure whether any company in modern history has ever had 100% market share. It terms of what matters here, microsoft is monopoly which can be subjected to anti-trust law.

"will eventually figure out a way to 'root' their PCs (or just buy one unlocked)"

This is presumptuous. I believe the bios has always been more secure than the OS, even if only because it's much less complex. It's not like users can run software within the bios to exploit a privilege escalation attack. The bios is a few dozen menus with static options, how likely is it that pounding on any of the computers's external IO ports will manage to jailbreak the bios?

Even if we can, we'd have to reflash the bios for the hack to be persistent. This is possible but every single motherboard would need a custom hack in order remain jailbroken. Also, there's a serious risk of bricking the motherboard this way.

"98% of the population won't give a shit. I'm not saying this is a good thing, but that's just the way it's going to be."

I think people do mind anti-features like DRM, vendor lock in, and application restricts, but they just not informed about these things until it bites them. An iphone user once asked me if I could write him a simple app, and wasn't even aware that his device was forcefully locked to the apple store, and that he or I would have to enroll as a commercial apple developer before we could write software for his iphone. Strangely enough, even though he owned the iphone, he never knew that he was tethered to apple without hacking into his phone.

But I think your conclusion is fair, people will buy into microsoft locked devices just as they bought into apple locked ones. For us, that means we can no longer buy any random new/used computer and expect it to run under linux anymore. And we may no longer be able to recover windows machines with knoppix rescue disks and the like.

Edited 2011-09-24 05:08 UTC

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