Summary: Distributions of BSD and GNU/Linux suffer from Microsoft’s closing of computer chips, but Red Hat decides to take Microsoft’s side
Chris Hall, a friend of our site, explains why locking down computers won’t work for Microsoft: [via]
This doesn’t bode well for Nokia, which has gambled it’s future on Windows, or Microsoft. Both companies would like us to believe the move was brought about by Redmond’s recent announcement there will be no upgrade path from Windows Phone 7 to Windows Phone 8 when it’s released in a few months time. The truth seems to be that consumers simply aren’t interested in portable Windows devices, despite the gee-whiz advertising that’s been showing up on network TV recently.
With the exception of the Xbox, the luster seems to have worn off all Microsoft’s consumer products, including its flagship operating system. Here at FOSS Force, only 35% of our visitors are running Windows, which isn’t necessarily surprising as we’re an open source site. However, on another site we publish that doesn’t attract tech savvy visitors, Windows only accounts for 62% of our visitors, down from 91% only three years ago.
Until recently, OEMs pretty much refused to get serious about introducing computers running anything other than Windows, and for good reason. On computers, consumers use what they know, and they knew Windows. That’s all changed. Not only have consumers come to like their experiences with Android on handsets, they’re coming to have the same affection for Android on tablets as well. Just weeks after release, Google has already sold out of the 16GB version of the Nexus 7.
It might be time for Google to release a version of Android optimized for desktops and laptops. If it did, that might reduce Windows to being just another option, even on the desktop. The walled garden approach isn’t going to work for Redmond like it does for Cupertino. That approach requires a superior product and neither Windows nor Office falls into that category.
Now comes the new bit of information and it arrives from none other than de Raadt, who slams Red Hat for what it is doing about UEFI (see [1, 2] for context). To quote: “OpenBSD founder Theo de Raadt has slammed Red Hat and Canonical for the way they have reacted to Microsoft’s introduction of “secure” boot along with Windows 8, describing both companies as wanting to be the new Microsoft.”
In a FESCo meeting held on 23rd July, Fedora’s Engineering And Steering Committee members have decided to include UEFI Secure Boot in Fedora 18. Codenamed Spherical Cow, this release is scheduled to be out this November. Only two votes out of nine were against inclusion of secure boot.
IDG says that “Fedora Linux Moves Forward with UEFI Secure Boot Plans”. We would rather say “moves backwards”. To quote: “The latest news? The Fedora project on Monday voted to move forward with its plan, meaning that its upcoming Fedora 18 will support the Secure Boot technology enabled in the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) in Microsoft’s forthcoming Windows 8.”
Fedora did not even wait for Linux developers to possibly come up with a better workaround:
According to Linux Foundation Technical Advisory Board member James Bottomley, it may be that distros have had problems formulating a plan to deal with UEFI because they don’t have access to UEFI machines.
Red Hat can be vilified, rightly, for doing something that helps divide and harm non-Red Hat distro . █