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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I'm sorry but our ARMs are tied.
by garyd on Fri 13th Jan 2012 16:48 UTC
garyd
Member since:
2008-10-22

I'm not sure how this changes things -- when you buy a system with an alternate OS in mind, you're already looking at the hardware specs to ensure it'll work with the OS you're planning to use. I only see this as another tic on the list.

Reply Score: 3

moltonel Member since:
2006-02-24

Except $FAVORITE_OS would work perfectly on the device if it wasn't locked down for market strategy reasons. In fact it might even work better, since ARM support has existed for ages on *nix, but is a new feature on Windows.

So the blame shifts from "incompetent manufacturer / FOSS" to "greedy Microsoft". Not that Microsoft hasn't done it before, but it's usually via discrete/oportunistic/plausibly-deniable channels.

Reply Parent Score: 9

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

I'm not sure how this changes things -- when you buy a system with an alternate OS in mind, you're already looking at the hardware specs to ensure it'll work with the OS you're planning to use. I only see this as another tic on the list.

Really? I never do. And I'm sure I'm far from alone in this.

Reply Parent Score: 3

garyd Member since:
2008-10-22

Really? I never do. And I'm sure I'm far from alone in this.

You've never looked at the list of drivers available in an operating system before buying components to run it?

Reply Parent Score: 1

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Reuse. I often fix other people's computers for them, recently I've been able to convince a number of them to give Fedora + KDE a try as I'm able to promise them a virus free lifestyle computer that can surf the web and do basic office tasks.

I don't know about you but that's how I first tried linux, BeOS, FreeBSD, QNX, etc. I had a pc laying around that I had purchased with windows on it and dual booted. That can't be done now with these ARM windows devices. And that's just sad. The EU/US Justice department should really step in. I'm going to write a couple letters to a few US Senators and my friends who work for them.

Edited 2012-01-13 17:33 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 5

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Bill Shooter of Bul,

"I don't know about you but that's how I first tried linux, BeOS, FreeBSD, QNX, etc. I had a pc laying around that I had purchased with windows on it and dual booted."

That's just it, we are able to experiment with alternative operating systems in the first place BECAUSE the hardware isn't restricted. I also learned linux after installing it on my windows box. I might not have been able to learn linux if I needed to buy another computer in order to do so. (That's probably what microsoft is counting on with the secure boot restrictions).

Reply Parent Score: 6

mistersoft Member since:
2011-01-05

The EU/US Justice department should really step in. I'm going to write a couple letters to a few US Senators and my friends who work for them.


Exactly.. you beat me too it. I was just about to suggest that everyone on here that see this as a potential *big issue* write to their local MEP! (i always forget this isn't a uk/european site, dunno why.

I'm also just about to try and write a carefully crafted letter to AVAAZ too (normally they campaign about ostensibly 'much bigger' issues - human rights issues and indescretions - generally, large questions or hot topics around war, freedom and minority rights.

But they've started petitions around SOPA for instance too, and I believe this type of activity could *theoretically* become a bigger one eventually. Firstly I don't think SOPA will pass at it stands, and I like to hope that even if a lot of the 'core net' in the US became rather too censored, stifling and stodgy, that there's tools like tor alright in the wild, various alternative distributed DNS systems at least being investigated already and generally a big enough hacker community and probably enough wireless e.g. wimax like technologies that *could* eventually be grown into a relatively uncontrollable internet 1.1 (rather than internet2) - as it should be!

But all that type of internet freedom fighting activity, if it were even necessary, could be severely hindered or at least slowed if in several years time, the majority of windows laptops and tablets were locked into ARM via these secure boot mechanisms.

And to those that have suggested that hackers could eventually bypass this - well, i'm no cryptographic expert, but I believe if implementally correctly as intended that this won't possible, not without soldering or swapping UEFI chips or something like that. And that basically means for 99.9% of folk, their shiny new machines will be unrootable probably and if Microsoft want to force their customers to only run signed code etc, then, ..well, I can imagine TOR and similar for instance might never get signed under some scary but possible future circumstances.

paranoid. maybe a little. just today

Reply Parent Score: 3

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Reuse. I often fix other people's computers for them, recently I've been able to convince a number of them to give Fedora + KDE a try as I'm able to promise them a virus free lifestyle computer that can surf the web and do basic office tasks.


Oh great you give them an OS that is unsupported after a year ... brilliant!

While I might agree on the fact that if most people are just using Facebook and checking emails that is alright. But the moment they want to connect iPods, mobile phones, use third party services like Spotify they are SOL.

I don't want to have a go at you too much because I think you are alright.

Reply Parent Score: 0

trev Member since:
2006-11-22

Yep, you would think that this would be a rather clear cut anti-trust case. That said I'm sure it will be left to the EU to sort this out history has shown that the US DOJ can be bought for a not so high price. Go go EU trust busters!

Reply Parent Score: 5