Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 13th Jan 2012 16:20 UTC, submitted by moondevil
Windows And so the war on general computing continues. Were you looking forward to ARM laptops and maybe even desktops now that Windows 8 will also be released for ARM? I personally was, because I'd much rather have a thin, but fast and economical machine than a beastly Intel PC. Sadly, it turns out that all our fears regarding UEFI's Secure Boot feature were justified: Microsoft prohibits OEMs from allowing you to install anything other than Windows 8 on ARM devices (the Software Freedom Law Center has more).
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"You are buying a device that is sold as running Windows 8. If you don't like it ... buy something else."

If we continue on this path, then that may be the only choice we will have; anyone wanting to develop or run non-mainstream operating systems will have to pay a premium for niche hardware which explicitly supports it. Not only does this hinder accessibility of alternative operating systems for users, it discourages their development and significantly increases barriers to entry. Ordinary hardware, because of explicit restrictions, will no longer do dual booting, no user mods, no device re-purposing, etc.

This is a less desirable future than one where devices are open and unrestricted, and users are free to use their own hardware however they see fit. We need to be as vocal as possible about the issues to raise public awareness as much as we can.

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