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07.28.12

The BSD World Antagonises UEFI While Red Hat Aids It, OpenBSD Leader Criticises Red Hat

Posted in BSD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Red Hat at 6:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Little devil

Summary: Distributions of BSD and GNU/Linux suffer from Microsoft’s closing of computer chips, but Red Hat decides to take Microsoft’s side

USING some nefarious means such as UEFI, Microsoft has been trying to rescue the Windows franchise, especially now that ISVs are fed up.

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.”

“The UEFI SecureBoot work is finally officially approved for going into Fedora 18,” writes Michael Larabel. See this message and this article from our friends at Muktware:

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 .

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4 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    July 28, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Gravatar

    The luster has worn off the Xbox, too, if ever there really was any to begin with:

    http://www.destructoid.com/microsoft-s-xbox-division-loses-229-million-226215.phtml

  2. mcinsand said,

    July 29, 2012 at 9:14 am

    Gravatar

    Roy,

    I don’ t mean to be too much of a jerk (although it comes naturally), but do you still think that my use of the word ‘treason,’ in context with Redhat and Canonical accepting UEFI, is too strong?

    On the other hand, I will have to admit to maybe being too harsh on BSD. The BSD license is still too permissive for my comfort; I have come to believe very much in the GPL’s power to guarantee that I will continue to have a free platform to use. Prominent BSD’ers slamming UEFI makes my day, though.

    Regards,
    mc

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Point taken.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I thought a little further about your points and I agree with the first one more than before. I realised that I had abstained from using words like treason in relation to Ubuntu and Red Hat (in this case) because it’s what’s known in politics as “career suicide” (e.g. when criticising Zionism). I will use the word treason more openly from now on. Unlike Novell, Ubuntu and Red Hat are in general also great contributors.

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