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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Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Sat 14th Jan 2012 06:29 UTC
ilovebeer
Member since:
2011-08-08

Wow, 8 new pages of posts since this morning? This certainly seems to be a hot topic at the moment.

At any rate, as I've said over and over and over and over... When you buy a prebuilt "Designed for Windows 8" computer, you shouldn't expect it to work (properly) when you try to use it in a way not intended by its design. Whining about it doesn't change that. If you want to run a non-Windows 8 OS then DO NOT BUY A "DESIGNED FOR WINDOWS 8" computer.... dummy.

That being said, I think it should be made clear what "Designed for Windows 8" means. Whether that's a sticker on the thing that says "This hardware is locked to run Windows 8 only.", or whatever.

Fact: There are several alternatives to buying a "Designed for Windows 8" computer.

Fact: Nobody is forced to buy a "Designed for Windows 8" computer.

Fact: No amount of whining or ignoring will change the above two facts.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by ilovebeer
by lemur2 on Sat 14th Jan 2012 06:51 in reply to "Comment by ilovebeer"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Wow, 8 new pages of posts since this morning? This certainly seems to be a hot topic at the moment.

At any rate, as I've said over and over and over and over... When you buy a prebuilt "Designed for Windows 8" computer, you shouldn't expect it to work (properly) when you try to use it in a way not intended by its design. Whining about it doesn't change that. If you want to run a non-Windows 8 OS then DO NOT BUY A "DESIGNED FOR WINDOWS 8" computer.... dummy.

That being said, I think it should be made clear what "Designed for Windows 8" means. Whether that's a sticker on the thing that says "This hardware is locked to run Windows 8 only.", or whatever.

Fact: There are several alternatives to buying a "Designed for Windows 8" computer.

Fact: Nobody is forced to buy a "Designed for Windows 8" computer.

Fact: No amount of whining or ignoring will change the above two facts.


So, would you be happy if you bought a car that had a small badge which stated "designed for BrandMS petrol" in what was apparently advertising, but you later found out that, although it technically could run on any brand of petrol, it would physically only let you fill it with BrandMS petrol, which was many times as expensive?

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Sat 14th Jan 2012 07:49 in reply to "RE: Comment by ilovebeer"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

So, would you be happy if you bought a car that had a small badge which stated "designed for BrandMS petrol" in what was apparently advertising, but you later found out that, although it technically could run on any brand of petrol, it would physically only let you fill it with BrandMS petrol, which was many times as expensive?

Aside of the fact that's a horrible comparison, sure. It's a sellers job to be honest about what they're selling. It's a buyers job to read the small print and know what they're buying. Does it matter what kind of petrol would technically work in your scenario? Nope. It only matters whether or not the seller was upfront about the limitation before your bought it, and whether or not you had sense enough to pay attention.

It's foolish to buy something and then piss yourself when it can't be used in a way that's not intended. Plain & simple.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Comment by ilovebeer
by Alfman on Sat 14th Jan 2012 07:20 in reply to "Comment by ilovebeer"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

ilovebeer,

Adding to your lists:

Fact: Vendor locks restrict choice (that's the whole point of them)

Fact: The "designed for windows 8" computers would run alternate operating systems fine if not for the microsoft imposed restrictions.

Fact: The more vendors that lock hardware, the smaller the set of users who have the ability to try alternate operating systems on their hardware.

Fact: Independent development projects traditionally start out running on existing off the shelf hardware. When it is locked, it raises the bar to entry, creates fragmentation, and limits market potential.

Fact: Users who must buy (and tote) multiple devices to try out alternate operating systems will be less inclined to do so.

Fact: Locked devices prevent users from recycling/re-provisioning them when the manufacturer drops support.

Fact: Secure boot doesn't protect from operating system vulnerabilities.

Fact: Microsoft made dishonest statements regarding forcing OEMs to lock devices.

Fact: Once these devices hit the market, there will be no way within the UEFI spec to unlock just one device without compromising all of the other devices sharing the same platform keys.

Edited 2012-01-14 07:31 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Sat 14th Jan 2012 08:11 in reply to "RE: Comment by ilovebeer"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

Fact: Vendor locks restrict choice (that's the whole point of them)

Not exactly. It only restricts choice as pertaining to specific hardware (configurations). Companies do this to protect their interests, and it's completely within their legal right to do so.

Fact: The "designed for windows 8" computers would run alternate operating systems fine if not for the microsoft imposed restrictions.

Both incorrect and completely irrelevant. Any potential restrictions are imposed by the hardware vendor, not Microsoft. And as stated previously, companies have the legal right to protect their interests.

Fact: The more vendors that lock hardware, the smaller the set of users who have the ability to try alternate operating systems on their hardware.

Users still have several other options, all easily accessible. So while this may technically be correct, it has little real world impact.

Fact: Independent development projects traditionally start out running on existing off the shelf hardware. When it is locked, it raises the bar to entry, creates fragmentation, and limits market potential.

The moment "Designed for Windows 8" hardware hits the shelves, all the other hardware doesn't magically disappear. The existence of "Designed for Windows 8" hardware absolutely has no impact on the above.

Fact: Users who must buy (and tote) multiple devices to try out alternate operating systems will be less inclined to do so.

Generally, I agree. However, if a user wants to be able to try multiple operating systems on the same hardware, then that user should NOT purchase "Designed for Windows 8" hardware. If they do, they absolutely should not expect to use it in a way other than intended by the maker.

Fact: Locked devices prevent users from recycling/re-provisioning them when the manufacturer drops support.

In theory, yes. In practice, no.

Fact: Secure boot doesn't protect from operating system vulnerabilities.

False. Secure boot does in fact protect an operating system. The only debatable aspect is the level of protection it offers.

Fact: Microsoft made dishonest statements regarding forcing OEMs to lock devices.

False. Microsoft has not forced anyone into anything. Vendors choose to agree or disagree to Microsoft's licensing. Further, there's no proof anything Microsoft has said was dishonest at the time.

Fact: Once these devices hit the market, there will be no way within the UEFI spec to unlock just one device without compromising all of the other devices sharing the same platform keys.

Possibly true but no proof as of yet.

The only problem "Designed for Windows 8" hardware introduces is potentially restricting a users ability to use the hardware outside of its intent. If the users needs extend beyond what "Designed for Windows 8" offers, the user should NOT purchase "Designed for Windows 8" hardware. Instead, the user should elect one of the several other options available. There's simply no getting around this fact.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Comment by ilovebeer
by Morgan on Sat 14th Jan 2012 12:25 in reply to "Comment by ilovebeer"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Wow, you're all about the "facts", especially considering this is not a material issue yet; it's still words on a page until the devices start coming out.

Anyway, I really think this goes beyond the realm of the end-user's OS preferences. If Microsoft succeeds in this endeavor, it will start a ball rolling all the way down the hill to the motherboard manufacturers, who will have to decide between two distinct product lines: Win8 certified boards for Win8 licensed OEMs, and general purpose boards with normal bootloaders for the build-your-own crowd. The problem with that is we all know which board type will see 90-95% sales. Why spend extra manufacturing time, money, design, development and other resources on a product that essentially appeals to a few OS and hardware geeks?

Not to mention, websites like Newegg.com whose bread and butter is the BYO crowd might just die out completely when the board makers become an OEM only channel. What will Newegg sell then, apart from complete systems and their small line of consumer electronics? Once again, a monopoly potentially harming free trade and the economy. Go figure...

And who is to say it will stop with the bootloader? Perhaps if Microsoft manages to move forward with this bullshit, they will eventually be able to lock out other OSes at the CPU level, with ARM CPUs only able to execute signed code. I hope it won't go that far, but who can say for sure?

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer
by dsmogor on Sat 14th Jan 2012 20:50 in reply to "RE: Comment by ilovebeer"
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

The tech have been there for ~6years employed in media devices with strong DRM. It's been there in x86 since (I believe) 2 generations of core cpus in form of TPM.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Sun 15th Jan 2012 18:04 in reply to "RE: Comment by ilovebeer"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

Wow, you're all about the "facts", especially considering this is not a material issue yet; it's still words on a page until the devices start coming out.

Funny, I say nearly the same thing. While there are some unknowns, there are however still some existing facts which have been previously pointed out. We are not 100% in the realm of theory and speculation with this issue.

Anyway, I really think this goes beyond the realm of the end-user's OS preferences. If Microsoft succeeds in this endeavor, it will start a ball rolling all the way down the hill to the motherboard manufacturers, who will have to decide between two distinct product lines: Win8 certified boards for Win8 licensed OEMs, and general purpose boards with normal bootloaders for the build-your-own crowd. The problem with that is we all know which board type will see 90-95% sales. Why spend extra manufacturing time, money, design, development and other resources on a product that essentially appeals to a few OS and hardware geeks?

You talk as if Windows 8 is being forcefully crammed down the entire worlds throat. This is simply not true. You're also doing very heavy speculation on sales, manufacturing "expense", and market. This may come as a shock to you but Windows 8 does not completely dominate the market. For that matter, I can't think of a single company I deal with directly, or have heard that intends to deploy it.

Not to mention, websites like Newegg.com whose bread and butter is the BYO crowd might just die out completely when the board makers become an OEM only channel. What will Newegg sell then, apart from complete systems and their small line of consumer electronics? Once again, a monopoly potentially harming free trade and the economy. Go figure...

There isn't a single shred of evidence that board makers will be OEM only. The fact that newegg.com does so well is proof that the BYO crowd is much larger than people here seem willing to admit. It's not just for nerds & geeks. Do you know what newegg.com is taking in? It's a lot more than peanuts.

Windows 8, the newegg.com killer? Don't hold your breath!

And who is to say it will stop with the bootloader? Perhaps if Microsoft manages to move forward with this bullshit, they will eventually be able to lock out other OSes at the CPU level, with ARM CPUs only able to execute signed code. I hope it won't go that far, but who can say for sure?

Speculation doesn't dictate reality. As a matter of fact, the past several years have proven just how unhealthy over-speculating actually is.

Rather than fear every horrible thing my imagination can dream up, I elect to pay attention to what's actually happening while being mindful of past events. The sky is always falling to some people, I'm just not one of them.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Comment by ilovebeer
by Lennie on Tue 17th Jan 2012 13:57 in reply to "Comment by ilovebeer"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Fact: There are several alternatives to buying a "Designed for Windows 8" computer.

Fact: Nobody is forced to buy a "Designed for Windows 8" computer.

Fact: No amount of whining or ignoring will change the above two facts.


That was what we thought to when the Windows based netbooks came out at first, but that didn't last long did it ?

Reply Parent Score: 2