EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS


Microsoft Fanatics Were Wrong, Linux Indeed Attacked by UEFI (Updatedx2)

Posted in Microsoft at 7:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Ed Bott

Summary: More information about UEFI leaves no doubt about Microsoft’s intentions to sabotage and cheat

IN OUR previous posts about UEFI (aka “secure” boot) [1, 2, 3] we showed that Microsoft was still a corrupt company looking to break the rules to make money. Aaron Williamson from the SFLC writes the article “Microsoft confirms UEFI fears, locks down ARM devices”:

At the beginning of December, we warned the Copyright Office that operating system vendors would use UEFI secure boot anticompetitively, by colluding with hardware partners to exclude alternative operating systems. As Glyn Moody points out, Microsoft has wasted no time in revising its Windows Hardware Certification Requirements to effectively ban most alternative operating systems on ARM-based devices that ship with Windows 8.

The Certification Requirements define (on page 116) a “custom” secure boot mode, in which a physically present user can add signatures for alternative operating systems to the system’s signature database, allowing the system to boot those operating systems. But for ARM devices, Custom Mode is prohibited: “On an ARM system, it is forbidden to enable Custom Mode. Only Standard Mode may be enable.” [sic] Nor will users have the choice to simply disable secure boot, as they will on non-ARM systems: “Disabling Secure [Boot] MUST NOT be possible on ARM systems.” [sic] Between these two requirements, any ARM device that ships with Windows 8 will never run another operating system, unless it is signed with a preloaded key or a security exploit is found that enables users to circumvent secure boot.

Glyn Moody adds:

In December 2011, Microsoft published a document entitled “Windows Hardware Certification Requirements” for client and server systems. As the introduction explains:

This release to web (RTW) document contains the Windows Hardware Certification requirements for Windows 8 Certified Systems. These requirements are Microsoft’s guidelines for designing systems which successfully meet Windows performance, quality, and feature criteria, to assure the optimum Windows 8 computing experience. Successfully following this guidance will allow a partner to receive certification for their system.

On page 116 of this document, there are some details about the circumstances under which Secure Boot can be disabled:

MANDATORY: Enable/Disable Secure Boot. On non-ARM systems, it is required to implement the ability to disable Secure Boot via firmware setup. A physically present user must be allowed to disable Secure Boot via firmware setup without possession of Pkpriv. Programmatic disabling of Secure Boot either during Boot Services or after exiting EFI Boot Services MUST NOT be possible. Disabling Secure MUST NOT be possible on ARM systems.

This confirms that it is indeed possible to disable Secure Boot – but only on non-ARM systems (i.e. traditional PCs.) In other words, it would appear that Microsoft is still locking out GNU/Linux from installation on ARM-based Windows 8 machines.

So this leaves me confused. The document was published some time after Microsoft’s post where it states “Microsoft does not mandate or control the settings on PC firmware that control or enable secured boot from any operating system other than Windows”, and yet it seems to contradict it. So what’s going here? Was Microsoft’s blog statement only about non-ARM systems, as the new documentation suggests? And if so, why the discrimination? And finally, is ARM really happy to see Microsoft apparently locking out GNU/Linux from its systems in this way? Let’s hope Microsoft can clarify this situation as it did on the previous occasion.

This leaves no room for excuses. Microsoft’s bribed systematic liars/spinners, such as Ed Bott, were just trying to keep regulators away. It’s time to nail down Microsoft for interfering with fair competition in more than a single way. Just because Microsoft is imploding or collapsing does not entitle it/give it a right to sabotage competitors. This harms everyone.

Update: SJVN weighs in shortly afterwards:

Microsoft and its vendor friends said that there’s no Windows 8 plot to lock other operating systems from Windows 8 devices, but now we know Microsoft was not telling the whole truth.

Journalist Glyn Moody dug around Microsoft’s Windows Hardware Certification Requirements for Windows 8 client and server systems and found on page 116 that will Windows 8 Secure Boot can be disabled: on Intel systems, “Disabling Secure [Boot] must not be possible on ARM systems.”

Update #2: Microsoft now receives the Slashdot treatment. As one person put it: “Oh boy, the lawyers must be rubbing their hands over this. The flaw in Microsoft’s aim of course is that next to no one wants a Microsoft mobile gadget.”

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one


  1. Michael said,

    January 13, 2012 at 8:23 pm


    Wait… are you a supporter of free and fair competition now? Does that mean you are going to speak out against Google/Samsung for not playing fair and plagiarizing Apple?

    Wait… no, you are not.

    I wish you could be consistent.

  2. Mikko said,

    January 18, 2012 at 8:25 am


    Michael is a troll and a member of apple invented everything in technology and everybody else are just stealing from apple

    Michael Reply:

    That is silly. Why troll me and not try to refute my claims?

    Remember, the evidence that Samsung plagiarized Apple is rock solid:


    If you have a reasoned counter, something more than just empty denial, I am open to reading it.

    But you do not – hence the reason you leave the topic behind to call me names and make up stories about me and my views.

  3. mrkennie said,

    January 18, 2012 at 12:16 pm


    I wondered when this would happen and probably will be allowed to happen just like MSXML became an ISO standard and SOPA will be passed. Rich Corporations run the US. Democracy? What is that again?

What Else is New

  1. Links 2/10/2015: Qubes 3.0, Linux.Wifatch

    Links for the day

  2. Microsoft-Connected Firm Net Applications Used to Mislead About Vista 10 Share and Mock GNU/Linux

    People who are connected to Microsoft (some being former staff) link to a firm that is connected to Microsoft in order to create the illusion that Vista 10 market share grew to 6.63%

  3. Chairman of the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBoA) and EPO Vice-President of DG3 Suspiciously on Unlimited Sick Leave After Benoît Battistelli's Unprecedented Attacks on Other EBoA Staff

    Rumours suggest that Benoît Battistelli's affairs at the EPO may have something to do with Wim Van der Eijk's longterm absence

  4. Microsoft's Secret Special Relationship With EPO Illustrates Serious Corruption at Microsoft and the EPO

    A big story about the EPO and Microsoft working in a sort of collusion-type setup so as to serve Microsoft's patent agenda, which involves aggression, even against European software that is Free (as in freedom)

  5. Links 1/10/2015: LFS 7.8, Calculate Linux 15 Released

    Links for the day

  6. The 'Microsoft Loves Linux' Baloney is Still Being Floated in the Media While Microsoft Attacks Linux With Patents, New Lawsuits Reported

    Despite Microsoft's continued assault on Linux and on Android (using software patents, which it still discreetly lobbies for), some figures in the media are perpetually peddling the Microsoft-serving lie that 'Microsoft loves Linux'

  7. The Microsoft Botnet Goes Bonkers and ATMs Running Windows Spew Out Cash

    The terrible security (by design) of Microsoft Windows is causing all sorts of very serious and collectively expensive issues

  8. Black Duck Continues to Pile FUD on Free/Libre Software

    Having spent nearly a decade promoting the fear of Free software licensing, Black Duck now does the same regarding Free software security<

  9. Links 30/9/2015: New Kernels, Nexus Devices

    Links for the day

  10. Links 28/9/2015: Last News Catchup Before Resumption

    Links for the day

  11. Links 25/9/2015: GNU/Linux in Indian Government, NeoKylin in China

    Links for the day

  12. Süddeutsche Zeitung Explains Imminent Federal Scrutiny Against Battistelli's EPO in Germany

    The German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung reveals that actions by the German government may be imminent against the EPO's cliquish management, including its ringleader Benoît Battistelli

  13. EPO Managers, Patent Lawyers, Commissioners and Other Non-Technical Personnel Tackle Democracy, Alter Laws in Bulk and in Secret

    The reckless assault on European democracies and long-established laws across Europe are now lucidly demonstrated when it comes to patents

  14. Europe's Acceptance of and Resistance to Software Patents, Courtesy of Corporate Front Groups and Courtrooms Respectively

    A snapshot of recent developments and upcoming developments in Europe, regarding software patents in particular

  15. German Press Explains EPO Investigation Unit (I.U.), Struggles to Openly Speak to the Secretive EPO

    The secretive Investigation/Investigative Unit (I.U.) of the European Patent Office (EPO) is further studied/explored by a recent article from junge Welt, an old and well-established German newspaper (since 1947)

  16. Links 24/9/2015: GNOME 3.18, Fedora 23 Beta, New Firefox

    Links for the day

  17. Translation Needed of Article About EPO Threats Against SUEPO's Elizabeth Hardon

    A call for translation of an important article that may help shed light on the modus operandi of the Investigation/Investigative Unit of the EPO, which works with Control Risks Group (CRG), the 'British Blackwater'

  18. Media Filled With Spin and Lies Amid Microsoft's Admission of Internal Usage (and Modification) of GNU/Linux

    Further analysis of Microsoft's admission that it uses Linux internally and the media's poorly-researched response to that

  19. EPO Management Justifies Censorship (Even of Journalists) Using Its Vice-President Željko Topić

    The Topić connection to EPO-imposed and universally-induced censorship not just of news sites but also sites which speak about the censorship itself, or dare question the integrity of the EPO's management

  20. Changes at Techrights

    A few short notes on how we are going to re-align the site with disruptive trends, notably patents-related

  21. EPO President Benoît Battistelli Compared to Famous Criminals on European Television

    The Belgian TV network featured a show which was making fun of Battistelli earlier this month

  22. Dutch Politician John Kerstens Says EPO Investigative Unit is Called ‘the Gestapo’

    The infamous Investigation Unit (I.U.), which secretly bullies staff of the EPO with notorious interrogation techniques under virtually no oversight, is described on Dutch radio

  23. The European Patent Office's Autocracy Has Proven the Streisand Effect, Amplifying Its Opposition's Messages

    The management of the European Patent Office (EPO) is still trying to suppress negative messages about managerial failures, violations and abuses, thereby serving to only increase media coverage (newspapers, radio, television) of increasingly well-known and widely-covered scandals

  24. IBM is Again Attacking Free/Libre Open Source Software by Pushing for Patents on Software

    A timely reminder that Big Blue is no true friend of GNU/Linux and other Free software projects, just an opportunist that uses the Linux brand and wants to make the platform a commodity (for servers that run IBM's proprietary software and use IBM-branded hardware)

  25. Windows is Dying, Based on my Conversations With Microsoft Windows Staff

    The arrival of Vista 10 heralds the continuation of a trend that Vista 8 cemented, namely an inevitable demise of Microsoft's common carrier (and formerly cash cow), Windows

  26. Microsoft Claims to Have Built 'Windows' on Top of Linux, But Where is the Source Code (GPL)?

    Microsoft cannot rely on Windows anymore, so it takes GNU/Linux code and puts its own brand on it, without even releasing the changes (as per the GPL's requirements)

  27. Dutch Report: EPO Suicides Possibly Caused by Working Conditions Imposed by EPO's Management

    More press coverage about the terrible situation at the European Patent Office

  28. Links 21/9/2015: Tizen 3.0, Red Hat's Results Coming

    Links for the day

  29. European Patent Office Expands Censorship and Intimidation Against Staff as Pressure Mounts

    The management of the European Patent Office (EPO) continues to increase its repressive assaults on EPO staff, essentially blocking access to additional sites which explain what the EPO is really doing and why this is wrong

  30. Patents Roundup: Europe's and India's Software Patents Affair, US Continues to Demote Software Patents With Alice Case

    A roundup of news of interest regarding patents, especially software patents whose impact on Free/Open Source software is exceptionally profound


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time


Recent Posts