Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 3rd Nov 2011 19:34 UTC, submitted by lucas_maximus
Hardware, Embedded Systems A big issue right now in the world of operating systems - especially Linux - is Microsoft's requirement that all Windows 8 machines ship with UEFI's secure boot enabled, with no requirement that OEMs implement it so users can turn it off. This has caused some concern in the Linux world, and considering Microsoft's past and current business practices and the incompetence of OEMs, that's not unwarranted. CNet's Ed Bott decided to pose the issue to OEMs. Dell stated is has plans to include the option to turn secure boot off, while HP was a bit more vague about the issue.
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RE[5]: Ok, let's be fair
by Alfman on Sun 6th Nov 2011 22:32 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Ok, let's be fair"
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"1. It's not Microsoft's responsibility to cater to Linux users wants."

Overlooking possible anti-trust violations, you're absolutely right, however this simply does not dismiss our concerns.

"2. ... more and more hardware is supported with each iteration of the Linux kernel alone, not to mention out-of-kernel drivers."

Out of the box Linux compatibility is a strength... But 1) this isn't just about linux, 2) how does this justify locking down the keys to favor microsoft?

"3. If you choose not to buy or build a system that suits your needs, it's your own fault and your own problem. Vendors aren't to blame, Microsoft isn't to blame, just you."

This only holds if the restrictions are made clear at the point of sale. My point about fragmentation of the alternative OS ecosystem still holds. And in any case it still doesn't justify secure boot being designed to lock out the owner's control over keys.

"4. Nothing you've said is based in reality, truth, or fact. In other words, you're just trying to spread unjustified FUD."

I'm asking questions like everyone else because I am concerned about the migration to closed computing. Please quote specifically what you believe to be unjustified FUD. If you don't have the answers either, then why do you seek to dismiss my questions?

"1. There is absolutely nothing wrong or illegal with Microsoft or system vendors protecting their interests."

You can say that about any business with questionable ethics, however it doesn't answer our questions nor does it ameliorate our concerns. Even assuming these restrictions are entirely legal, it does not absolve them of public criticism.

"2. If a user does not consider their needs and research their options, picking one that best suits those needs, then yes it's absolutely their own fault. What's ridiculous is that you think users have no personal responsibility."

Like I said, you can blame the user as much as you like, but you can't deny that it is anti-competitive and potentially kills off one of the primary modes of adoption for alternate operating systems. Therefor it is a legitimate concern.

"...the fact that you have several other options available to you aside of buying 'Designed for Windows 8' systems. If the systems turn out not to be suited for your use, DON'T BUY THEM."

Again, even if you are right, it doesn't answer our questions and it doesn't dismiss our concerns at all. The secure boot spec still deserves criticism for being anti-competitive. As much as you want to see this through microsoft goggles, this is bigger than them. It's about recognizing that consumers benefit from open computing, and recognizing that incremental attempts to lock us out of our own machines have detrimental cumulative long term consequences, regardless of who instigates it.

Edited 2011-11-06 22:44 UTC

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