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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AnyoneEB
Member since:
2008-10-26


"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.


So? As I keep on saying, nobody complains that the Kindle (my e-Ink basic version 4) only boot the Amazon OS (I have no idea, nor I care what it is) and lets me only buy books from the amazon store. It is a product that lets me read books, I really do not care even if the OS is locked down ... I bought a Kindle to act like a Kindle.
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The Kindle runs Linux. Here's how to root it: http://www.turnkeylinux.org/blog/kindle-root . In addition to having a terminal and just generally being able to use the device as a normal computer, the most immediately useful addition is the ability to load books over wi-fi instead of having to use a USB cable.

Locking bootloaders as Microsoft is intending to require OEMs to do and as some smartphone manufacturers already do is bad; the vast majority of users won't care, but it's still extremely anti-competitive. As has been mentioned in this thread already, very few people install Linux on their desktops/laptops (most of which came with Windows pre-installed), but a lot of people use Android, which never would have been developed (or, at least, would be very different) if there were no Linux users because very few people owned desktops with unlocked bootloaders.

It is not comparable to the audiophile or bike enthusiast examples. There you are talking about people being able to combine specialized parts, possibly with (parts of) consumer-grade equipment. Locked bootloaders are extra hardware/software limiting the capabilities of systems being bought. (To be fair, there is a security concern of boot-level viruses... but the cost to make an option to unlock the bootloader that requires physical access is negligible and the article says that Microsoft is banning OEMs from even having that choice.)

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