Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Microsoft hit with competition complaint over Secure Boot

  1. #1

    Bay Area
    Posts : 21,839
    Windows 7 Home Premium x64

    Microsoft hit with competition complaint over Secure Boot

    Microsoft hit with competition complaint over Windows 8 UEFI Secure Boot

    A Spanish Linux software group has filed a complaint against Microsoft to the European Commission over its controversial implementation of UEFI Secure Boot for Windows 8 hardware.Read this

    The Linux group Hispalinux filed a complaint with the Madrid office of the European Commission on Tuesday morning, according to Reuters.

    The complaint focuses on the Microsoft's Windows 8 "certified PC" feature UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) Secure Boot, which the group has labelled an "obstruction mechanism".

    A Guy

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  2. #2

    Covington, La
    Posts : 1,184
    Windows 7 HP 64bit, Windows 8.1 Pro w/Media Center 64BIT

    This is what the EU commission has said:

    "Whether there is a violation of EU competition rules depends however on a range of factual, legal and economic considerations. The Commission is currently not in possession of evidence suggesting that the Windows 8 security requirements would result in practices in violation of EU competition rules as laid down in Articles 101 and 102 TFEU. In particular, on the basis of the information currently available to the Commission it appears that the OEMs can decide to give the end users the option to disable the UEFI secure boot."
    Secure Boot is one feature of the new UEFI standard and if the Linux community can't figure out how to use it that's their problem.

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  3. #3

    South Coast NSW, Australia
    Posts : 615
    Windows 8.1 'Ultimate' RTM 64 bit (Pro/WMC).

    I wouldn't call it a 'feature'.
    Far from it, in fact.

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  4. #4

    Posts : 5,360
    7/8/ubuntu/Linux Deepin

    Figure out how to use it?

    LOL. It requires a key.

    Microsoft controls the key-signing authority, everyone who wishes to boot an os on hardware certified for Windows 8 has to buy a Microsoft key.

    Oems are supposed to provide a method to turn it off. Not clear yet how easy that is to do. Users have to go into the UEFI interfaces and hunt down the Secure Boot control, which might be called anything and buried anywhere.
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  5. #5

    Posts : 1,770
    Windows Phone 6, Windows CE 5, Windows Vista x32, Windows 7 x32/x64, Windows 8 x64

    It's a bit like search preferences in Windows x32, I can't make Google my default search provider on my tablet, but for some reason I can on my Windows x64 desktop. What gives?
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  6. #6

    USA, Idaho
    Posts : 1,062
    Win 8, (VM win7, XP, Vista)

    Microsoft is not the problem they have offered the Cert for Linux (all flavors). Now it is up to the Linux community to get the Certs. As to the OEM the Linux Folks will have to get with them.

    At present I am using Suse Linux 13 on an HP p1423 with UEFI as a dual boot with Win 8, and am having no problems.
    Last edited by Lee; 28 Mar 2013 at 09:08.
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  7. #7

    South Coast NSW, Australia
    Posts : 615
    Windows 8.1 'Ultimate' RTM 64 bit (Pro/WMC).

    Frankly, the more I hear/read about it, the happier I am that I don't have it.

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  8. #8

    I've yet to run across a machine that I couldn't figure out how to disable secure boot in the BIOS. I've used a handbuilt machine with an Asus board (P8-z77-vlk), I've used a dell laptop (Latitude 6430u), I've used an Acer Inspire All in One (5600U), and I've used an HP 23" Pavilion All in One. All models have been very obvious on how to disable secure boot.

    I think secure boot is probably ok for most people who won't ever use another OS and need protection from root kits, etc. For the enthusiasts, I don't think Secure Boot is really a feature most are going to want to take advantage of anyway. The slight performance boost when booting with UEFI and Secure Boot enabled, is only slight. Just a few seconds (2-3). Beyond boot, no performance change.

    I think we can live without this.
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  9. #9

    Never been to Heaven......
    Posts : 283
    Dual Boot: Back to W7 and Ubuntu 12.04

    So basically MS gets to collect $99 from the Distros to give them a signed key. Seems MS wants control over it all...

    "To summarize the implementation in simplified terms: the UEFI secure boot mechanism requires pairing of trusted keys with low-level operating system software (bootloaders) signed with the respective key. The big challenge is how to both initially ship and later update the set of trusted keys stored in the system firmware. Requiring all users to manually perform this task would not meet the ease of use objectives. After all, with any security feature if it's too hard to enable it, few will bother to use it and leave themselves exposed.

    The resulting mechanism planned for getting the keys automatically distributed is to utilize Microsoft key signing and registry services. This obviates the need for every customer to have to round up a collection of keys for multiple operating systems and device drivers. Microsoft will provide keys for Windows and Red Hat will provide keys for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora. Similarly other distributions can participate at a nominal cost of $99 USD - allowing them to register their own keys for distribution to system firmware vendors."

    From here: Red Hat | UEFI Secure Boot


    Edit: My question is if Conical buys the key, do all distros based on Ubuntu get to use the key or does every distro have to pay up. Seems a sure way to kill the small guy trying to compete with a Homebrewed Distro...
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Microsoft hit with competition complaint over Secure Boot
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