Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Microsoft confirms UEFI fears, locks down ARM devices

Filed under
Linux
Microsoft
Legal

At the beginning of December, we warned the Copyright Office that operating system vendors would use UEFI secure boot anticompetitively, by colluding with hardware partners to exclude alternative operating systems. As Glyn Moody points out, Microsoft has wasted no time in revising its Windows Hardware Certification Requirements to effectively ban most alternative operating systems on ARM-based devices that ship with Windows 8.

The Certification Requirements define (on page 116) a "custom" secure boot mode, in which a physically present user can add signatures for alternative operating systems to the system's signature database, allowing the system to boot those operating systems. But for ARM devices, Custom Mode is prohibited: "On an ARM system, it is forbidden to enable Custom Mode. Only Standard Mode may be enable." [sic] Nor will users have the choice to simply disable secure boot, as they will on non-ARM systems: "Disabling Secure [Boot] MUST NOT be possible on ARM systems." [sic] Between these two requirements, any ARM device that ships with Windows 8 will never run another operating system, unless it is signed with a preloaded key or a security exploit is found that enables users to circumvent secure boot.

Rest here

Also: Is Microsoft Blocking Linux Booting on ARM Hardware?




Shame on you Microsoft

They should be ashamed of themselves for the way they act. It would be nice if the OEMs would tell MS to go stick it where the Sun don't shine.

Who Cares

All this means is that Microsoft will be heavily subsidizing certain ARM devices, and they're protecting their investment (just like Cell Phone Carriers do).

As with cell phones, there will be un-locked ARM devices available, just not at dirt cheap subsidized prices.

Nothing to get your panties in a knot over.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

Qt Creator 4.4 RC released

We are happy to announce the release of Qt Creator 4.4 RC! For the details on what is new in Qt Creator 4.4, please refer to the Beta blog post. As usual we have been busy with bug fixes and improvements since then, and now would be a good time for you to go get it, and provide final feedback. Read more Also: Qt Creator 4.4 Advances To Release Candidate Stage

Another Behind-the-Scenes Niche Where Open Source is Winning

Do you spend a lot of time thinking about Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons? Unless you run a retail store, probably not. But if you do run a store (or stores) along with an e-commerce operation, BLE is a hot new thing you are either using already or thinking about using before long. Why? Because the graffiti is on the wall, and it says, “Sales in physical stores are going down every year, and most retailers aren’t seeing enough online sales gains to take up the slack.” BLE may help stop the retail sales slide or at least slow it down. It’s cheap enough, especially with open source beacons, that it’s certainly worth a try. Read more

Android Leftovers

An Early Look at Ubuntu Dock for GNOME Shell in Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark)

Ubuntu 17.10, the next major release of the widely-used Ubuntu Linux OS, will be transitioning to the GNOME Shell user interface by default instead of the Unity desktop environment that was used until now. Read more