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Microsoft is aggravating to lock bottomward arrangement firmware to anticipate malware and pirated copies of Windows. Unfortunately, this may accept some abominable ancillary furnishings for Linux users and anyone abroad that wants to cossack an operating arrangement not clearly adored by Microsoft and OEMs. This poses a botheration for hobbyists and ample organizations alike.
This was apparent by Linux developer Matthew Garrett, who’s been accomplishing a lot of assignment with EFI booting in accepted for his day job. Recent UEFI blueprint accept accustomed for “secure boot” that requires an OS to accept a active key in arrangement firmware to work.
Microsoft is acute (PowerPoint) that OEMs address applicant systems with the defended cossack enabled to get the Windows 8 logo. Of course, all above OEMs are activity to appetite the Windows 8 logo. In short, a bell-ringer like Dell would address systems that admit the OSes that Dell offers. That would beggarly whatever Windows versions that are offered by Dell would be appropriately signed. Other OSes – alike retail versions of Windows 8 – wouldn’t necessarily be active to run on the systems.
The absolute to this arrangement is that malware that affects OS ability not be able to boot. According to the presentation by Arie van der Hoeven of Microsoft, if the cossack action detects a bearding cossack manager, it would bead to a accretion arrangement managed in firmware. Presumably OEMs would accommodate accretion media to abatement aback to.
The downside is that users accept a lot beneath ascendancy over their accouterments with this affection enabled. Abundant like adaptable accessories that anticipate bearding ROMs from loading, this would beggarly desktop systems with Windows 8 would not run bearding OSes after acclaim the computer. If you accept malware on your system, you’re ashore with the OEM accretion media instead of actuality able to use your own accretion software.
This presents a bit of a cephalalgia for vendors like Acronis that accommodate advancement software that boots systems to accomplish images of adamantine drives.
Garrett addendum that vendors could accept to accommodate firmware abutment to attenuate this, but “experience indicates that abounding firmware vendors and OEMs are absorbed in accouterment alone the minimum of firmware functionality appropriate for their market.” Loosely translated? Abounding vendors aren’t activity to absorb the money to accord users this feature.
The defended cossack claim is already adopting eyebrows in the Linux community. As planned, machines that would accommodate to the logo requirements for Windows 8 (read: around any arrangement you would buy from Dell, Asus and so on) would not cossack Linux.
Though Microsoft has not apparent a abundant accord of adulation for Linux, I agnosticism that this is a aloof a arrangement to baffle desktop Linux. At best, Linux commands a few percent of the desktop market. It’s hardly account Microsoft’s time to go out of its way to anticipate a baby allotment of users from installing Linux on machines they’ve already paid “the Windows tax” for. I doubtable Microsoft’s primary aim is to added abbreviate “pirate” versions of Windows.
But it has the abeyant to do accessory accident to Linux users and distributors. It additionally affects anybody abroad that ability appetite to amount a altered OS assimilate the system, and alike to users who appetite to install third-party cartoon cards assimilate the system.
Secure cossack agency that the baby but agog Hackintosh association would be out of luck too. While you ability acquisition Linux vendors accommodating to jump through the abstruse and authoritative hoops to get active copies of Linux that would assignment with UEFI, there’s little adventitious of accepting cossack media for OS X that would accept an accustomed CA signature.
Dedicated users could still body their own machines, of course. However, if the Win 8 Logo affairs goes to bazaar as proposed it would acutely absolute the options for abounding OEM-built machines. Appetite to reclaim that old Windows 8 apparatus with a Linux administration or article like FreeNAS? No dice.
It’s additionally cryptic how this would affect resale of systems that go off-lease. There’s a appealing big aftermarket for desktop systems that would be afflicted by this as well.
Garrett says that “it’s apparently not account panicking yet. But it is account actuality concerned.” I accede with this – it’s activity to be absolutely a while afore Windows 8 ships. There’s a lot of time to accord Microsoft acknowledgment on this feature, and the aggregation ability aback off the attitude on its own.
But it is a concern. One of the things that’s consistently been a accustomed for me is that I can repurpose any PC accouterments by installing Linux on it. Losing this abundant ascendancy over accouterments that I’ve purchased apropos me – and it should affair action buyers as well.
What do you think? Is this an adequate feature, or should Microsoft go aback to the cartoon board?
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