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General Chat Thread, Windows 8 Secure boot - Blocking hardware and software like nobodies business in General; A new security measure introduced with Windows 8 requiring so-called secure boot keys could make it more difficult for consumers ...
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    X-13's Avatar
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    Windows 8 Secure boot - Blocking hardware and software like nobodies business

    A new security measure introduced with Windows 8 requiring so-called secure boot keys could make it more difficult for consumers to load other operating systems including Linux on OEM Microsoft-certified machines pre-loaded with the software.

    Depending on whom you talk to, this is a massive violation of consumer freedom that might (or should) draw anti-trust scrutiny from authorities such as the EU or it is a desirable defense against malware that just so happens to coincidentally inconvenience a small, if vocal, group of power users.
    ::Source::


    What say you, Edugeeks?

    Anti-trust violation to ensure market monopoly?
    Or necessary evil for system security?


    Personally, I'm not impressed. But, unless a large number of their target market say something, it'll stay the same.

    From that I saw last Microsoft have a ~90% market share, and it seems they want to keep it. Even if it means actively disabling free choice.

    New graphics card? It isn't signed, you can't use it.
    New HDD? Nope, can't use that either.
    Don't agree with Microsoft's decision? Sucks to be you then, you can't change the OS.

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    MK-2's Avatar
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    Haven't you just described Apple there with their ring fenced hardware and software?

    I'd prefer to wait and see when it eventually comes out. All these sites thrive on rumour, speculation and such.

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    X-13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK-2 View Post
    Haven't you just described Apple there with their ring fenced hardware and software?

    I'd prefer to wait and see when it eventually comes out. All these sites thrive on rumour, speculation and such.

    It was purely unintentional, I assure you. I don't use Apple products all that often.

    I agree on the "wait and see" approach, but from what I've seen confirmed by Microsoft isn't inspiring.

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    achedgy's Avatar
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    Does sound very apple-esque. But then Apple are doing very nicely at the moment, so perhap our good friends at Microsoft are thinking if it works for them....

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    From what I have read Microsoft require secure boot to be turned on in order to boot Windows 8. They have said it is up to the system manufacturers if they allow the end user to toggle it off.

    As far as I see it what we as consumers need to do is refuse to buy machines from manufacturers who will not allow us to turn off secure boot.

    oh and we dont want to pay extra to be able to turn it off, as that is unfairly loading an extra cost onto those people who choose not to run Windows 8

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    There wouldn't be anything to stop a consumer key being supplied with hardware that would allow someone to do what they wanted, but I wouldn't be surprised if manufacturers refused to manage and distribute the keys (and I imagine Microsoft will create incentives for this to be the case). If you built your own PC then you will have to be given a key, the real problem will be for mobile devices as you can't really buy the parts and make your own.

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    Secret keys, like those used to secure Blu-ray discs, PS3s, Xbox360s and the like ?

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    Theres a bit more on it here:
    More on Windows8 UEFI booting

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    Keys as in, code signing with a public and private key pair. The private key of what you are installing (i.e. the bootloader) will have to match with a public key that is on the motherboard.

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    Yes, this has worked so well in the past.

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    If Apple had not got away with this kind of game and been lorded for it by the sheeple and media there is no way that this would have been an issue. Everyone who decided that Apple were more secure because of hardware lockins has contributed to this. The same rings true for the 'only need a tablet' crowd who will force the price up on other forms of computer hardware and drive development into locking them down just like the tablets.

    They are only giving the sheeple what they think they want.

    I don't agree with it if hardware is not user unlockable but as shown by Apple consumers and a bunch of android/WP ones with bootlocked devices there is plenty of market for it.

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    What happens when this secure boot only hardware makes it onto the second hand market?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JJonas View Post
    What happens when this secure boot only hardware makes it onto the second hand market?
    You have to pay extra for signing.

    Like what EA are doing with second hand games. But a bit more extreme.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MK-2 View Post
    Haven't you just described Apple there with their ring fenced hardware and software?

    I'd prefer to wait and see when it eventually comes out. All these sites thrive on rumour, speculation and such.
    Pretty much agree there, I totally don't blame Microsoft for doing this because other manufacturers are doing it. Surely if you want another OS why not buy their product? I can slightly understand why people had a hissy fit over the PS3 terms change but frankly sony should of said from day 1 "You can not install other OS's on the PS3". Why would anyone install anything else anyway? Oh wait..... cough...

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    Looks to em like a decision influenced by the mobile market. Phone rooting is a big headache for device and OS manufacturers and Windows 8 has clear indications that it will be intended run on such devices. UEFI's signed rooting will make it harder to root and power the device on in seconds.

    Of course, for desktop computers the answer is to buy a UEFI motherboard capable of disabling secure boot. The question is how many cheap motherboards will come without such functionality.

    Can't really leave the blame squarely in Microsoft's court though and eyes should fall on hardware manufacturers and how they handle non-secure boot support. If worst comes to worst and Linux distros are forced to release a signed version, we may see one signed version rise to the top and provide the stability Linux needs for developers to work with it (instead of one billion distros with their own quirks and changes).

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