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

01.13.12

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

4 Comments

  1. Michael said,

    January 13, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    Gravatar

    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

    Gravatar

    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:

    http://i.imgur.com/TmUj2.jpg
    http://goo.gl/S2AJR
    http://goo.gl/bWDs6
    http://goo.gl/NjrfV

    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

    Gravatar

    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 14/9/2014: Android-based Watches Earn Optimism

    Links for the day



  2. Links 14/9/2014: Eucalyptus Devoured

    Links for the day



  3. Links 11/9/2014: Linux Toilet Project, Linux-Based Wheelchair Project

    Links for the day



  4. Links 10/9/2014: Brian Stevens in Google, Ubuntu 14.10 Expectations

    Links for the day



  5. Links 9/9/2014: Hating/Loving Linux, Android Aplenty

    Links for the day



  6. Links 8/9/2014: Linux 3.17 RC 4, Switzerland Welcoming Snowden

    Links for the day



  7. Suspicion of High-Level Corruption at the European Patent Office (EPO): Part I

    The European Patent Office (EPO) Vice-President has a background of corruption and his appointment to the EPO too is believed to be reliant on systemic corruption



  8. Links 6/9/2014: Core OS at DigitalOcean, Women in Xorg

    Links for the day



  9. Software Patents 'Quality' Debated in Courts, Microsoft's Biggest Patent Troll Still a Chronic Liar

    Intellectual Ventures, Microsoft's and Bill Gates' largest patent proxy, continues to spread lies about its motivations, claiming that patent assessment is among the goals when in fact only the courts and patent offices do this



  10. New Article Explains How Bill Gates Prevents Schools From Moving to GNU/Linux and Free Software

    A new article from Al Jazeera provides details about the role of so-called 'charities' of billionaires inside school systems



  11. Microsoft Sued for Large-scale Copyright Abuses

    Microsoft reveals its disregard for copyright law which it loves so much to wield as a weapon against its competition and clients



  12. Links 5/9/2014: New WordPress, Systemd Debate Continues

    Links for the day



  13. 'Embrace and Extend' at Microsoft: The New Generation

    Some of the latest examples of Microsoft's predatory acts against Free software and against competition in general, disguised as acts of friendliness



  14. Bill Gates' God Complex: Common Core a One-Man Campaign of Greed and Control

    The push for Common Core is overwhelmingly dominated by Bill Gates, who intimidates and even resorts to retribution against critics while bribing those who help him accomplish the goal of privatised (for his private profit) indoctrination in US schools



  15. Bill Gates Investments Harm the World, Not Improve the World, Based on New Exclusive Piece of Investigative Journalism at The Nation

    The Gates Foundation's profiteering efforts and lack of ethics outlined in a new report that many sites around the Web find fascinating and mostly irrefutable



  16. Links 3/9/2014: Android Gadgets, New Tails OS

    Links for the day



  17. Linus Torvalds DebConf Talk

    Torvalds' latest talk which got media attention earlier this month



  18. Microsoft Should Not be Considered Too Big to Jail

    Microsoft continues to use dumping as a strategy which revolves around starving the competition, not beating the competition



  19. Pro-Software Patents Voices Finally Acknowledge the Demise of Software Patents in the United States

    A milestone is reached as even the most zealous supporters of patents on algorithms (or computer-implemented inventions, or software patents) are admitting that the era of software patents may be over



  20. New Lies About Microsoft 'Privacy' and New FUD Against the GPL Comes From 'Former' Microsoft Staff at Black Duck

    More AstroTurfing by sites that are run by Microsoft MVPs and firms which were created by people from Microsoft



  21. Links 2/9/2014: GNU/Linux in BBC, Calls Against systemd

    Links for the day



  22. Links 1/9/2014: Poettering on systemd, ITNews on DBMSs

    Links for the day



  23. Moving Away From Windows to GNU/Linux and the Abandonment of Windows as the Modest Proposal These Days

    Morale of GNU/Linux and an embrace of GNU/Linux is very high, despite recent propaganda from Microsoft MVPs and boosters (primarily security-themed and Munich-themed FUD)



  24. Korean Press Slams Microsoft Over Patent Extortion Against Linux/Android as New Abuses Resurface

    Harsh words from the national press of South Korea as Nokia's role in Microsoft's anti-Linux tactics becomes more apparent



  25. More Good News About Patents and Their Demise in the United States

    A roundup of news about software patents and patent trolls in the land where these thrive



  26. Links 31/8/2014: Linux 3.12.27, Akademy 2014

    Links for the day



  27. Links 30/8/2014: Jailhouse 0.1, *buntu 14.10 Beta

    Links for the day



  28. Links 28/8/2014: Many New Games, CTO of Red Hat Steps Down

    Links for the day



  29. We Are Gradually Winning the Battle Against Software Patents

    The once-elusive war on software patents is finally leading to some breakthrough and even the Federal Circuit reinforces the trend of software patents' demise



  30. Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) Companies Versus FOSS Moles (VMware, Sonatype, Xamarin)

    A look at three entities which pretend to be pro-FOSS but are actually FOSS-hostile and very much determined to replace FOSS with proprietary software


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts