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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"Apple released an ARM tablet running iOS and nobody said anything."

"Samsung/Google released an ARM tablet running Android and nobody said a thing."

"HP released a tablet running WebOS and Blacberry released the playbook running a proprietary system."

Do you know whether the operating systems are actually locked by the mainboard of any of these devices? I honestly don't know the answer, and welcome any sources you have. But due to the fact that linux can run on each of those, I suspect there are no mainboard OS restrictions in place on them.

However difficult the factory OS might make it to touch the bootloader on these, in principal the hardware will still boot alternate operating systems. Meanwhile the ARM mainboards implementing Microsoft's mandated secure boot feature will not.

I agree there should have been more media coverage on the vendor lock aspects of all the earlier guys - even more than you mentioned. They're all following a rather terrible precedent mostly set by apple, and it's extremely worrisome to the future of open computing.

"Can we blame Microsoft if they will lock some tablets running Windows 8?"

I think so, they all deserve blame. I do understand their motivation for doing it, but I also think future consumers will suffer as a result. That's why we need to spread the word about it.

Edited 2012-01-15 04:14 UTC

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