Microsoft will force block UEFI boot on ARM devices

After the controversy generated by Microsoft's requirement to have the UEFI for Windows 8 startup, the company repeats history again, this time, prohibiting its partners who manufacture and assemble computers, from providing the option to disable the UEFI function on architectures ARM if you want to get the Quality certificate de Microsoft on your products.

At the beginning of December, the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) advised the Copyright Office that operating system vendors would use the UEFI (Unified Firmware Extensible Interface) secure boot system in an anti-virus manner. -competitive, colluding with allied hardware vendors to exclude alternative operating systems.

As Glyn Moody mentioned, Microsoft wasted no time modifying its Windows Hardware Certification requirements to prohibit most alternative operating systems on ARM processor-based devices that are released with Windows 8. The Free Software Foundation currently maintains a campaign against this.

The Certification Requirements define (on page 116) a “custom” secure boot mode, in which a physically present user can add signatures for alternate operating systems to the system signature database, allowing the system to boot those operating systems. But for ARM devices, custom mode is prohibited: “On ARM systems, it is prohibited to enable custom mode. Only the standard mode can be activated. " Users will also not have the option to simply disable Secure Boot, the way they would on non-ARM-based devices: "Disabling Secure Boot MUST NOT be possible on ARM systems." Between these two requirements, any ARM device that ships with the Windows 8 logo will never be able to run another operating system, unless it is signed with a pre-loaded key or a security flaw is found that allows users to pass the safe start.

While UEFI Secure Boot is designed to protect user security, these non-standard restrictions have nothing to do with security. For non-ARM-based systems, Microsoft requires that custom mode be enabled - an inconsistent demand if custom mode is a security threat. But the ARM market is different for Microsoft in three important ways:

Microsoft's allied hardware manufacturers are different on ARM. ARM is of interest to Microsoft for one primary reason: all mobile devices running the Windows Phone operating system are based on ARM. In contrast, Intel dominates the world of PCs. There, Microsoft's secure boot requirements allow users to add signatures in custom mode or disable secure boot entirely - they closely follow the recommendations of the UEFI forum, of which Intel is a founding member. Microsoft does not need to support legacy programs on the Windows versions of ARM. If Microsoft locks unsigned operating systems off of new PCs, it would risk annoying its own customers who prefer Windows XP or Windows 7 (or, hypothetically, Vista). But without this need to support legacy systems on ARM, Microsoft is eager to imprison users.

Microsoft does not control enough of the market in mobile devices to raise concerns of monopoly abuse. While Microsoft does not have the monopoly on PCs that it had in 1998, when it was tried for monopolistic violations, it still controls about 90% of the market for PC operating systems - this is enough to make them concerned that by banning operating systems that Don't be Windows from Windows 8 computers the controllers come knocking on your door. But for now it could use its anti-competitive behavior on ARM devices.

Source: Technocapsules

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  1.   Nashua said

    The Microsoft thing is unfortunate, but not as bad as Canonical or Red Hat, willing to compromise on this and pay for the certificates as Red Hat (Fedora) announced. Very sad, but the funny thing is that the final consumer does not click or cut. You buy a PC but you can't choose which OS to use…. it is even illegal.

  2.   Alfon said

    It does not worry me . We will finish Revealing it.
    (Early Afternoon Everyone Will Go to Independence)

  3.   Ivansakbe said

    and they say that Microsoft is not a monopoly

  4.   Nahuel said

    They should ban the sale of this type of Hardware. If this type of Hardware cannot be imported into "X" country, then they lose veins and the company that sells the Hardware would not implement this anti-competition technology.

  5.   Darumo said

    Well, nothing, this will only achieve one thing, that the UEFI security is broken sooner or later, the more impediments they put, the more people will be interested in cracking them.

  6.   Let's use Linux said

    Interesting reflection ... it is very possible that this is the case ...

  7.   miguel pozuelos said

    Honestly, I am speechless …… I have purchased a machine with windows 8 pre installed… ..I am not complaining, it is good and the advance to windows 10 is better, but for circumstantial reasons and that I need to install a banking program that I do not know has updated, I need windows 7 ultimate and this machine cannot be used for that purpose …… ..result? disappointment. I bought the pc, not the OS.