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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RE[3]: Comment by ilovebeer
by Alfman on Sat 14th Jan 2012 08:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer"
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

ilovebeer,

"Companies do this to protect their interests, and it's completely within their legal right to do so."

I didn't say it was illegal, I said it prohibits consumer choice.



"Both incorrect and completely irrelevant. Any potential restrictions are imposed by the hardware vendor, not Microsoft."

Please re-read the article then. The restriction is being imposed by microsoft specifically. And secondly, it's an artificial restriction prohibiting software which would otherwise work.



"So while this may technically be correct, it has little real world impact."

For you maybe, but not for users/promoters of alternative operating systems.



"The moment 'Designed for Windows 8' hardware hits the shelves, all the other hardware doesn't magically disappear."

The hardware isn't actually "designed for windows 8", that's a marketing slogan. Under the hood the hardware is virtually identical to unlocked devices in all ways except the firmware boot restrictions. In any case your point doesn't contradict mine.


"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."

Regardless of what users should or should not do, the requirement to buy/carry separate devices at the same time will undeniably give mainstream platforms a huge advantage over independent platforms. Both users and devs who would be willing to participate in early development through the use of dual booting will be put off that they cannot. This barrier will hurt alternative project membership.


"In theory, yes. In practice, no."

Are you saying secure boot will be broken? Or are you saying that manufacturers will not drop support?


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

As I said, it won't protect operating system level vulnerabilities. The only new piece of protection not previously possible is making sure the bootloader is signed.

"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."

Re-read the article and complain to it's author if you disagree, not me.


"Possibly true but no proof as of yet."

The spec is published, it's not speculation.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[4]: Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Sun 15th Jan 2012 17:47 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by ilovebeer"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

"Both incorrect and completely irrelevant. Any potential restrictions are imposed by the hardware vendor, not Microsoft."

Please re-read the article then. The restriction is being imposed by microsoft specifically. And secondly, it's an artificial restriction prohibiting software which would otherwise work.

You still don't get it. Vendors have the option to disagree to the terms set forth by Microsoft. No company is forced to create DFW8 systems, they willingly agree to do so, or not do so.

Regarding the "restriction"... Completely irrelevant. If you don't want to use Windows 8, don't buy DFW8 hardware. Are you dumb enough to disagree? It's literally as simple as that, yet you insist on pretending all other options will cease to exist the moment DFW8 stuff hits the shelves.

For you maybe, but not for users/promoters of alternative operating systems.

For me, yes.. And I'm a daily user of both Windows and non-Windows operating systems.

The hardware isn't actually "designed for windows 8", that's a marketing slogan. Under the hood the hardware is virtually identical to unlocked devices in all ways except the firmware boot restrictions. In any case your point doesn't contradict mine.

I haven't seen anyone suggest the hardware is actually different. I don't think anyone is that naive. None-the-less, hardware which is locked to Windows 8 is in fact "Designed for Windows 8". I'm not sure why you're having trouble comprehending such a simple thing.

"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."

Regardless of what users should or should not do, the requirement to buy/carry separate devices at the same time will undeniably give mainstream platforms a huge advantage over independent platforms.

No such requirement exists. Nobody is being forced to do anything. You need to understand that.

Both users and devs who would be willing to participate in early development through the use of dual booting will be put off that they cannot. This barrier will hurt alternative project membership.

I talk to devs (both by profession and hobbyist) every single day. I have yet to hear a single one of them make the same or even similar comment. This is little more than FUD. You have no tangible or substantial evidence in support of your theory.

Are you saying secure boot will be broken? Or are you saying that manufacturers will not drop support?

I suspect both will become true.

As I said, it won't protect operating system level vulnerabilities. The only new piece of protection not previously possible is making sure the bootloader is signed.

So you agree, secure boot does in fact provide a level of protection.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[5]: Comment by ilovebeer
by Alfman on Mon 16th Jan 2012 05:42 in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by ilovebeer"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

ilovebeer,

So, you're counterarguments revolve around the assumption that vendors will refuse to manufacturer win8 devices and/or users will refuse to buy them.

Believe it or not, on this level, I actually agree. The harm caused by locked mainboards is very dependent on the number of locked mainboards which make it to market.

If windows 8 ARM devices are a market flop, then the damage caused by them being locked will be relatively minor. If windows 8 devices dominate the market, then the proliferation of the OS restricted mainboards would be devastating to the cause of open computing.

Now, I know you disagree vehemently with the cause of open computing, however you should still recognize that the above paragraph is true. So, on the assumption that windows 8 will be successful, then we do have cause to be concerned.


Edit: That's without considering any further repercussions of microsoft's restricted boot features having already become part of the UEFI standard.

Edited 2012-01-16 05:54 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3