Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 24th Oct 2012 23:09 UTC
Windows "The Surface is a nice tablet. The design and aesthetic are pleasing, the feel in the hands, particularly of the kickstand and magnetic cover connection is excellent. But is it worth buying on the day of release?" After these three reviews, I still want a Surface RT. As much as I think Metro - and especially its applications - has a long way to go, I feel like I should reward the fact that Microsoft dares to be different. Too bad Microsoft doesn't want me to buy one.
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RE[3]: I'm desiring one, too
by Alfman on Thu 25th Oct 2012 14:49 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I'm desiring one, too"
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

Nelson,

"I believe Acer has a Windows 8 tablet for $499 (same price as Surface) which can run traditional x86 applications and where the garden door is left open."

That's only the case for desktop apps, but people are obviously buying a tablet in the first place because they want to use it as a *tablet*. Otherwise they would just get a laptop. Being able to do both with one device is a nice value-added feature, but it doesn't excuse the walled garden on tablet applications.

And to be honest, I kind of want an ARM device anyways to be able to dual boot android and have one device running both, but we know MS is banning that as well.


"And I am almost certain some enterprising hacker will make it so Windows RT tablets can run ARM compiled programs.
At least, that's my hope."

We've heard plenty of excuses for walled gardens coming from the other big camp, due we really need to have apologists repeating these for microsoft? Today maybe one's iphone can be rooted, but that's only because apple bugs exist in the various models. An unintentional privilege escalation vulnerability permits the owner to compromise the device's security on demand to gain root access, thereby overriding apple's mandatory app policies.

Is this really the model of open computing that we want to stand behind? Do we really want to applaud these closed devices because they have security vulnerabilities? Microsoft's walled garden security may be stronger than apple's, probably in part because they learned from apple's mistakes. This is old news now, but microsoft made sure the UEFI firmware's secure boot feature was designed to enable them to lockout owners from the chain of trust. Microsoft even requires manufacturers to disable any override capability on ARM devices carrying windows. Even if a temporary root exploit is found, it won't be able to modify the system to remain rooted for long. I don't want to loose access to my unapproved sideload apps because I lost root when I rebooted my tablet on vacation, but with secure boot that's a very real possibility.

I predicted this whole shenanigan, that secure boot was just a disguised way of protecting walled gardens from owner tampering rather than simply protecting owners from malware tampering. I wish I were wrong about it.

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