Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 18th Jul 2013 22:12 UTC
Microsoft The Verge, reporting that Microsoft lost almost a billion dollars with Surface RT, in this quarter alone. "At the end of the day, though, it looks like Microsoft just made too many Surface RT tablets - we heard late last year that Microsoft was building three to five million Surface RT tablets in the fourth quarter, and we also heard that Microsoft had only sold about one million of those tablets in March." That's catastrophically bad.
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RE[2]: Wow
by Jokel on Fri 19th Jul 2013 05:21 UTC in reply to "RE: Wow"
Member since:

Nope - thanks to the wonders of "secure boot" it is "secured" to run Windows only. Only if you could flash the EFI rom with a "unlocked" image it could be possible to do such thing, but as far as I know it is hard coded (maybe a PROM, so no flash possible) and you are out of luck here.

And yes - that's the same "secure boot" Microsoft demands all hardware makers have to put on their motherboards to get a "Windows 8 certification". The only difference with the above is you very generous can get a "Microsoft key" from Verisign (free for personal use and $99 if you are a pro) to be able to boot into another OS, or you can disable or enable "secure boot" bios-wise every time you want to reboot from Windows 8 to another OS. Needless to say it wont secure Windows at all, but creates an artificial extra hurdle to use anything else but Microsoft Windows..

But - at least on other platforms that have "secure boot" it is possible to run another OS..

For now....

Reply Parent Score: 5

v RE[3]: Wow
by lucas_maximus on Fri 19th Jul 2013 05:46 in reply to "RE[2]: Wow"
RE[4]: Wow
by ssokolow on Fri 19th Jul 2013 06:56 in reply to "RE[3]: Wow"
ssokolow Member since:

Secure boot is a good thing, despite your protests to the otherwise.

MBR malware has been on the rise for years.

That depends on how you compare the pros and cons.

As implemented, I think Secure Boot is terrible for competition and I think that's intentional. I'd have no problem if that weren't the case.

For example, if there were a simple, cross-vendor standardized (and tested) way to grant an unsigned bootloader permission to run and register its own keys.

Perhaps something like this to make it hard to trick ignorant users into it:

1. If the user didn't call up the manual boot device chooser menu by holding F8 while booting, fail hard if the bootloader's signature can't be verified.

2. If the user did manually select a boot device and the bootloader is unsigned, display a big, scary but ultra-concise warning with the user being required to type "I Understand" to pass.

(Something like "You are trying to start an operating system provided or modified by an unrecognized vendor. This usually means that your computer has become infected. Unless you are are absolutely sure you know what you are doing, please turn off your computer and contact a technician. Otherwise, please type "I Understand" and press Enter.")

3. Somewhere in the process, there would be a checkbox with an equally clear message which would grant the OS some kind of one-time authentication token to allow it to register a new signing key in the bootloader.

Hell, even the Chromebook developer switch model has some advantages over UEFI Secure Boot.

Edited 2013-07-19 06:57 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 9

RE[4]: Wow
by toast88 on Fri 19th Jul 2013 07:26 in reply to "RE[3]: Wow"
toast88 Member since:

Secure boot is a good thing, despite your protests to the otherwise.

MBR malware has been on the rise for years.

So, tell me, when was the last time you booted your PC off a floppy disk?

Bootsector malware has been on the rise? Really? What year do we have? 1995?

Most computers are attacked over the network nowadays, not boot media.

This whole justification for "Secure Boot" is just bullshit.

Reply Parent Score: 12

RE[3]: Wow
by Lennie on Mon 22nd Jul 2013 11:33 in reply to "RE[2]: Wow"
Lennie Member since:

These devices don't have a user visible BIOS I guess and can't get these 'security checks' disabled, but PCs do...

for now.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Wow
by Alfman on Mon 22nd Jul 2013 20:59 in reply to "RE[3]: Wow"
Alfman Member since:


"These devices don't have a user visible BIOS I guess and can't get these 'security checks' disabled, but PCs do..."

My wife's Samsung tablet has a simple "BIOS" to perform some basic functions like flashing firmware over USB. Don't these windows rt tablets have a similar mode?

Edited 2013-07-22 21:02 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2