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

01.24.12

Microsoft Media Partners Spin the UEFI Abuses

Posted in Antitrust, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 1:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft’s spin is getting old and rusty

Cart wheel

Summary: Another new example of sources that are bribed by Microsoft or allied with Microsoft dismissing the anti-competitive nature of what Microsoft is doing and disseminating insults instead (ad hominem attacks)

THE UEFI tricks that Microsoft uses to harm the competition are not going to make Windows secure. On ARM in particular, Microsoft cannot justify those tricks, e.g. using the “security” excuse. Realising darn well what Microsoft is up to, Katherine writes about the situation, but Microsoft uses its highly biased press partners to whitewash the whole thing. This one come from an author who does not even wish to be identified (which often says a lot) and a publication with Microsoft ties. Microsoft talking points are contained therein and the key development is this:

This argument seemed somewhat settled until Computerworld author Glyn Moody noticed something a little different from Microsoft’s line of argument on page 116 of Microsoft’s “Windows Hardware Certification Requirements” for client and server systems, which bears a publish date of December 2011. On that page, it appears that Microsoft is telling OEMs producing ARM-based machines that secure boot is mandatory, whereas it can be disabled on non-ARM (x86) machines.

The article is designed to discredit those claims and one commenter adds: “In Brazil, the government will be not allowed to buy machines with Secure Boot, since it is against the current legislation by not allowing free concurrence. I see some legal issues in this question…”

It’s not just that. As a Red Hat engineer continues to explain:

The fundamental problem is that UEFI is a lot of code. And I really do mean a lot of code. Ignoring drivers, the x86 Linux kernel is around 30MB of code. A comparable subset of the UEFI tree is around 35MB. UEFI is of a comparable degree of complexity to the Linux kernel. There’s no reason to assume that the people who’ve actually written this code are significantly more or less competent than an average Linux developer, so all else being equal we’d probably expect somewhere around the same number of bugs per line. Of course, not all else is equal.

Even today, basically all hardware is shipping with BIOS by default. The only people to enable UEFI are enthusiasts. Various machines will pop up all kinds of dire warnings if you try to turn it on. UEFI has had very little real world testing. And it really does show. In the few months I’ve been working on UEFI I’ve discovered machines where SetVirtualAddressMap() calls code that has already been (per spec) discarded. I’ve seen cases where it was possible to create variables, but not to delete them. I’ve seen a machine that would irreparably corrupt its firmware when you tried to set a variable. I’ve tripped over code that fails to parse invalid boot variables, bricking the hardware. Many vendors independently fail to report the correct framebuffer stride. And those are just the ones that have ended up on hardware which crosses my desk, which means I haven’t even tested the majority of consumer-grade hardware with UEFI.

UEFI offers no benefits to computer users, especially on ARM-based devices. Microsoft is cheating and then relying on professional liars to cover up with spin. Microsoft never changed.

“Government attorneys accuse Microsoft of using its monopoly position to bully, bribe and attempt to collude with others in the industry, while illegally expanding and protecting its Windows franchise.”

The antitrust case: a timeline

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

What Else is New


  1. More Microsoft Subsidies to Patent Troll Intellectual Ventures

    Microsoft hands money to Bill Gates' close friend who is the world's largest patent troll



  2. Aiding Microsoft Under the Disguise of 'Pro-FOSS'

    Not everything which is FOSS necessary becomes, by virtue of existence, a positive contribution, as we are constantly reminded by projects that help proprietary software and/or restrictions get a strong grip on FOSS



  3. Links 16/4/2014: Red Hat PR, Ubuntu LTS Imminent

    Links for the day



  4. Links 15/4/2014: Lots of PCLinuxOS Releases, Ukraine Updates

    Links for the day



  5. Apple and Microsoft Actively Lobbying Against Patent Reform in the US

    Apple and Microsoft are reportedly intervening/interfering with US law in order to ensure that the law is Free/libre software-hostile



  6. Lawsuit by Microsoft Shareholder Targets Fine for Crimes Rather Than the Crimes Themselves

    A new lawsuit by a Microsoft shareholder shows everything that's wrong with today's model of accountability, where those who are responsible for crimes are accused of not avoiding fines rather than committing the crimes



  7. Public Institutions Must Dump PRISM-Associated Software

    Another reminder that taxpayers-subsidised services should refuse, as a matter of principle, to pay anything for -- let alone deploy -- proprietary software with back doors



  8. GNU/Linux News: The Opportunities Amid XP EOL

    Links for the day



  9. Microsoft Gets Its Money's Worth From Xamarin: PlayStation 4 Now Polluted by Microsoft

    The Trojan horse of Microsoft, Xamarin, is pushing .NET into Microsoft's console competitor



  10. After Brendan Eich Comes Chris Beard

    Having removed Brendan Eich using bullying and blackmail tactics, his foes inside Mozilla achieved too little as we have yet another man (coming from inside Mozilla) acting as CEO



  11. Healthcare News: Free Software in Health, Humanitarian Causes

    Links for the day



  12. Links 14/4/2014: MakuluLinux, Many Games, More Privacy News and Pulitzer Prize for NSA Revelations

    Links for the day



  13. TechBytes Episode 87: Catching up With Surveillance (NSA, GCHQ et al.)

    The first audio episode in a very long time covers some of the latest happenings when it comes to privacy and, contrariwise, mass surveillance



  14. Server News: KVM, ElasticHosts, Other GNU/Linux Items, and Open Network Linux

    Links for the day



  15. Hardware News: Freedom, Modding, Hackability on the Rise

    Links for the day



  16. Distributions News: GNU/Linux Distros

    Links for the day



  17. GNOME News: Financial Issues, Mutter-Wayland, West Coast Summit, Community Participation

    Links for the day



  18. KDE News: Kubuntu at the Centre Again KDE Applications Updated

    Links for the day



  19. Techrights Rising

    Effective immediately, Techrights will do what it takes to bring back old volume and pace of publishing



  20. Links: Surveillance, Intervention, Torture and Drones

    Links for the day



  21. Mobile Linux Not Just Android: Jolla, WebOS, and Firefox OS News

    Links for the day



  22. Google's Linux Revolution: New Gains for Android, Chrome OS (GNU/Linux)

    Links for the day



  23. Free/Libre Databases News: MongoDB, NoSQL, and MySQL Branches/Forks

    Links for the day



  24. Open Access on the Rise: Textbooks, Journals, Etc.

    Links for the day



  25. Finance Watch (Watching What's Not Being Watched): Economic Warfare/Class Injustice

    Links for the day



  26. Climate and Ecology Watch: News About a World Being Destroyed

    Links for the day



  27. Copyright News: DRM, Censorship, Megaupload, Hypocrisy, and Impact on the Internet

    Links for the day



  28. Sharing Works: Latest News Stories About Crowd-sourcing, Sharing, Transparency

    Links for the day



  29. Links 12/4/2014: Games

    Links for the day



  30. Links 12/4/2014: Applications

    Links for the day


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