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Microsoft, Red Hat spar over secure boot-loading tech

Joab Jackson | Sept. 25, 2011
Is Microsoft using a next-generation computing boot-loading technology to lock out the use of Linux and other OSEs on certain computers? While Microsoft has denied malicious intent, one Red Hat developer maintains that this may be the case.

The rest of the posting, authored by Mangefeste, noted that Microsoft is concerned only that Windows 8 be protected in a secure boot loader, and that OEMs are free to build in the option of disabling secure boot for running OSes without keys. Other OS providers are responsible for providing their own keys.

"For the enthusiast who wants to run older operating systems, the option is there to allow you to make that decision," Mangefeste wrote. "However, [disabling secure boot] comes at your own risk," he added.

"Microsoft's rebuttal is entirely factually accurate. But it's also misleading," Garrett responded in a follow-up blog item, posted Friday. Under the licensing agreement, the equipment manufacturer is under no obligation to provide users with the ability to disable the secure boot capability. Beyond the use of third-party OSes, this approach might also hamper the ability of users to upgrade components such as graphics cards, because there is no requirement to provide the user with the capability of installing additional keys.

"The truth is that UEFI secure boot is a valuable and worthwhile feature that Microsoft are misusing to gain tighter control over the market," Garrett charged.


 

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