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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Reported to the European Commission
by Paddlaren on Sat 24th Sep 2011 08:57 UTC
Paddlaren
Member since:
2011-09-24

I posted this to the European Commission for Competition (http://ec.europa.eu/competition/consumers). I still wait for some kind to response or registration ID to follow up on later.

BR
Erik


Sir or Madam,
I have followed the discussion on the Internet regarding new requirements from Microsoft that PC vendors are obliged to use UEFI secure boot to label PD hardware with the Windows logo. The problem is best describe in reference [1] bellow; PC vendors is obliged to have UEFI but not obliged to be able to disable it if users need to, nor are there a central database of certificates where different software vendors can register certificates.

I am concerned that Microsoft and PC vendors effectively restrict the competition in choice of operating system by using this mechanism.

Analysing the situation is seems clear to me and the parts of the open source community that this will effectively disable the ability of using operating systems other than Windows 8 on the device. From my perspective it seems like Microsoft are using their dominant position to enforce the PC vendors to lock user to Microsoft operating systems and software thus disable owners to have a different opinion of the software on their purchased hardware device.

Similar mechanisms has been used for along time and with great success by some mobile phone vendors to secure that the telephone software is the original software from the original vendor. This is an indication of how well the mechanism works and how well it hinders competitive software to be loaded on the device unless new certificates can be added or the mechanism can be disabled.

I propose that this problem is analysed and that measures are taken to ensure that PC hardware sold in EU are open to run any feasible operating system by owners choice, preferable using the same secure mechanism.

Mind that Android, MeeGo, or Apple OS X would not exist if the PC users had been enforced to use only operating systems from Microsoft. All of them relies on operating systems (GNU/Linux and BSD) developed outside the control of Microsoft. This depicts the the benefit of competition on the operating system level, and the price of locking computer to only one commercial operating system vendor.

References:
[1] http://www.osnews.com/story/25185/Microsoft_Responds_to_Secure_Boot...
[2] http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2011/09/22/protecting-the-pre-os...
[3] http://mjg59.dreamwidth.org/5850.html

Reply Score: 4