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Microsoft explains Windows 8 boot to quell Linux fears
ZDNet UK ^ | 09/23/2011 | Ben Woods

Posted on 09/23/2011 10:00:55 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

Microsoft has become locked in a dispute over whether the boot process in Windows 8 will block Linux from running on hardware designed for the next version of its flagship platform.

Windows 8 boot diagram

Windows 8 secure boot uses pre-OS boot checks, as well as third-party software checks, to ensure that users PCs remain healthy. Photo credit: Microsoft

Matthew Garrett, a power management and mobile Linux developer at Red Hat, raised questions in a blog post on Tuesday about dual-booting of Linux in Windows 8. He argued the use of Public Key Infrastructure (PKI)-based secure boot means either Windows 8 will be signed with a Microsoft key, with the public part of the key included on the system; or the hardware maker could use their own key and sign the pre-installed Windows.

"The second approach would make it impossible to run boxed copies of Windows on Windows logo hardware, and also impossible to install new versions of Windows unless your OEM [original equipment manufacturer] provided a new signed copy. The former seems more likely," Garrett said.

"A system that ships with only OEM and Microsoft keys will not boot a generic copy of Linux," he concluded.

Microsoft response

On Thursday, Tony Mangefeste, a member of the Windows Ecosystem team, responded to the suggestions in a blog post that detailed what the secure boot system means for running alternative operating systems.

Microsoft's move removes control from the end user and places it in the hands of Microsoft and the hardware vendors. – Matthew Garrett

Unlike Windows 7, Windows 8 uses the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) secure boot protocol. This allows manufacturers to set up a security policy for the hardware that prevents people from running loaders for operating systems and software it does not recognise. Ultimately, the protocol is designed to make the computer safer from pre-OS boot attacks or malware. 

The approach being taken by Microsoft is to provide the "best experience" first, Mangefeste said, by setting things up initially so most people will be protected against boot-loader attacks. After that, people can change the setting, if hardware makers give them the choice.

"At the end of the day, the customer is in control of their PC... For the enthusiast who wants to run older operating systems, the option is there to allow you to make that decision," Mangefeste said.

Manufacturers have final decision

Secure boot is a UEFI protocol and not a Windows-specific feature, and hardware makers have the option of customising their firmware to specify the level of certificate and policy management, Mangefeste said. This means that the final decision will lie with them on whether to allow or disallow the disabling of secure boot.

"Secure boot doesn't 'lock out' operating system loaders, but is a policy that allows firmware to validate authenticity of components," Mangefeste said.

"Microsoft does not mandate or control the settings on PC firmware that control or enable secured boot from any operating system other than Windows," he added.

However, in a subsequent blog post on Friday, Garrett claimed that Microsoft had not contradicted any of the points he had made, and that the situation he had described remained the same.

"Microsoft's rebuttal is entirely factually accurate. But it's also misleading," Garrett said. "The truth is that Microsoft's move removes control from the end user and places it in the hands of Microsoft and the hardware vendors. The truth is that it makes it more difficult to run anything other than Windows."


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Computers/Internet; Society
KEYWORDS: linux; microsoft; windows8

1 posted on 09/23/2011 10:01:00 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

So.. if you don’t want Windows 8, just don’t buy it. Right? I don’t see anything wrong here.


2 posted on 09/23/2011 10:06:33 AM PDT by bridgemanusa (loan MA Conservative)
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To: SeekAndFind

are you using win 8?

does one have to be a techie to use it?


3 posted on 09/23/2011 10:07:37 AM PDT by ken21 (ruling class dem + rino progressives -- destroying america for 150 years.)
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To: ken21

Win 8 is NOT out yet. You’ll have to wait another year for the major launch.

In the meantime there’s a lot of buzz because Microsoft has given copies away to a lot of tech people for them to check it out in advance.

I believe every participant in the latest MS developer’s conference were given a copy.


4 posted on 09/23/2011 10:12:46 AM PDT by SeekAndFind (u)
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To: SeekAndFind

i meant the beta.

it’s available on line.

sorry.


5 posted on 09/23/2011 10:14:06 AM PDT by ken21 (ruling class dem + rino progressives -- destroying america for 150 years.)
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To: SeekAndFind
I believe every participant in the latest MS developer’s conference were given a copy.

They weren't just given copies of the software, they were given tablets with it already installed.

6 posted on 09/23/2011 10:17:20 AM PDT by tacticalogic
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To: bridgemanusa

I think the question is what happens when new computers start shipping with Win8 on them. With Microsoft’s track record of about 50% of their OS’s sucking, Win8 might be another dog.


7 posted on 09/23/2011 10:19:19 AM PDT by USNBandit (sarcasm engaged at all times)
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To: USNBandit

I suppose that same can be said about anything new, like a car, which is why I wait a bit before buying anything so I know(as you said) whether or not it is a “dog”. One could always buy a Mac and really, how many typical home users are going to setup a dual boot machine in the first place?


8 posted on 09/23/2011 10:22:28 AM PDT by bridgemanusa (loan MA Conservative)
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To: bridgemanusa
So.. if you don’t want Windows 8, just don’t buy it. Right? I don’t see anything wrong here.

Windows 8 is not the issue. The hardware is the issue.

9 posted on 09/23/2011 10:24:29 AM PDT by cynwoody
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To: cynwoody
The hardware is the issue.

China won't be held hostage by Gates & Co. They will continue to build hardware that will boot their bootleg windoze and modified linux.

/johnny

10 posted on 09/23/2011 10:31:50 AM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: SeekAndFind

The question comes about because many users of linux have dual boot loaders that allow the user to select from multiple OSs during the boot cycle. This would potentially disable the capability to choose at boot time.


11 posted on 09/23/2011 10:51:45 AM PDT by RockyMtnMan
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To: SeekAndFind
whether the boot process in Windows 8 will block Linux from running on hardware

Win 8 is a tablet-friendly OS first . Just say no and keep the 7. MS-Sources close to the debate are worried that there will be no justification for businesses in buying something replacing a very popular Win7.

12 posted on 09/23/2011 11:03:39 AM PDT by urtax$@work (The only kind of memorial is a Burning memorial !)
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To: rdb3; Calvinist_Dark_Lord; GodGunsandGuts; CyberCowboy777; Salo; Bobsat; JosephW; ...

13 posted on 09/23/2011 11:15:00 AM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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Comment #14 Removed by Moderator

To: ken21
i meant the beta.

It isn't beta... it is DP (Developer Preview) and the 'Metro" interface (like anything 'metro') SUCKS.

15 posted on 09/23/2011 11:19:14 AM PDT by roamer_1 (Globalism is just socialism in a business suit.)
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To: SeekAndFind

It has to be better than vista and IE9. I wish I knew how to put XP on here.


16 posted on 09/23/2011 11:25:13 AM PDT by mountainlion (I am voting for Sarah after getting screwed again by the DC Thugs.)
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To: cynwoody

hmm.. the way I read it is that it is a hardware vendor’s choice on how to implement firmware for the final product. Either way, if someone does not want to deal with Windows 8, buy a machine (or better yet, build your own) that allows you to load whatever you want on it


17 posted on 09/23/2011 11:47:58 AM PDT by bridgemanusa (loan MA Conservative)
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To: roamer_1
It isn't beta... it is DP (Developer Preview) and the 'Metro" interface (like anything 'metro') SUCKS.

It does suck. I loaded a laptop with it to check it out and I couldn't get the BIOS screen on boot-up anymore. So I wiped it.

18 posted on 09/23/2011 12:02:34 PM PDT by TangoLimaSierra (To the left the truth looks Right-Wing.)
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To: bridgemanusa
bridgemanusa wrote:
So.. if you don’t want Windows 8, just don’t buy it. Right? I don’t see anything wrong here.

It's not that simple. After Microsoft releases Windows 8, most new computers will be produced with it preinstalled and most hardware manufacturers don't sell a naked laptop. So, if you want to buy a new computer you'll almost certainly have to get one with Windows 8 preinstalled. Thus, with this new mechanism, Microsoft accomplishes two things.

First, it makes it hard for "grandma" to install an alternative operating system. Additionally, when "grandma" tries to install an alternative OS, all "grandma" will know is that it "doesn't work". Since "grandma" doesn't know or understand the technical reason why, "grandma" will associate the alternative OS not working as being a deficiency in the OS itself which will more firmly entrench Windows in "grandma's" mind as the OS that works.

The second accomplishment is that if Microsoft "convinces" hardware manufacturers to disable the ability for the user to disable this "protection" they essentially guarantee their continued monopoly in the OS space and can continue to leverage that monopoly into other software spaces. With Microsoft's difficulties in the OS space and the continued move toward applications being web-based and OS-neutral, you can be certain that Microsoft will apply substantial pressure on hardware makers to "convince" them to lock the user out from being able to load his or her own OS onto the new hardware. Thus, we could see Microsoft return to the questionable practices from the '80s and '90s which enabled it to gain its monopoly in the OS space to begin with.

Regardless, it prevents users from enjoying the control over the hardware that they bought. For example, say a user wants to stay with Microsoft OSes and wants to buy and install Windows 9 when it comes out. If the user is locked out from installing new OSes with this new "protection", he won't be able to do so. Rather, he will have to buy a new machine with Windows 9 preinstalled.

19 posted on 09/23/2011 12:03:20 PM PDT by Channeling Locke
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To: TangoLimaSierra
It does suck. I loaded a laptop with it to check it out and I couldn't get the BIOS screen on boot-up anymore. So I wiped it.

Yup... a brave new world, ain't it? now let's see if MS is as good at wiping out bios as it is wiping out drives...

20 posted on 09/23/2011 12:16:30 PM PDT by roamer_1 (Globalism is just socialism in a business suit.)
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To: Channeling Locke
Regardless, it prevents users from enjoying the control over the hardware that they bought. For example, say a user wants to stay with Microsoft OSes and wants to buy and install Windows 9 when it comes out. If the user is locked out from installing new OSes with this new "protection", he won't be able to do so. Rather, he will have to buy a new machine with Windows 9 preinstalled.

I doubt that MS would not include a mechanism in Win8 to allow future releases to be installed. What WOULD happen, however, is if you decided that Win8 sucked and wanted to go back to Win7 or XP, you are screwed.

21 posted on 09/23/2011 12:17:03 PM PDT by PapaBear3625 (When you've only heard lies your entire life, the truth sounds insane.)
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To: bridgemanusa; cynwoody
hmm.. the way I read it is that it is a hardware vendor’s choice on how to implement firmware for the final product.

Riiiiight. And M$ is *not* noted for bending the arm of hardware manufacturers... /s

22 posted on 09/23/2011 12:22:05 PM PDT by roamer_1 (Globalism is just socialism in a business suit.)
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To: SeekAndFind
Win 8 is NOT out yet

I plan to install Win8 Developer Preview release this weekend ... assuming I can free up a PC. Win8 Dev is available to everyone who wants it.

23 posted on 09/23/2011 12:26:29 PM PDT by DesertSapper (CAIN 2012!!!)
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To: Channeling Locke

Well then.. couldn’t “grandma” just “roll her own”?

:-)


24 posted on 09/23/2011 12:32:10 PM PDT by bridgemanusa (loan MA Conservative)
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To: roamer_1
the 'Metro" interface (like anything 'metro') SUCKS.

I disagree completely. My Windows Phone 7 interface is fast, uncluttered, and intuitive. I (and my son) prefer the UI to on my WP7 phone over his iPhone's IOS interface. My wife is looking forward to upgrading from her Blackberry to a WP7 phone next year. My son is stuck with his iPhone a bit longer.

More Metro goodness on the way: WP7.5 "Mango" revision is due out in 2 weeks.

Also, if you really don't like the Metro UI, you'll need to scrap your Xbox360 and Live as that is moving to a Metro-like UI this Fall.

However, on a laptop running Win8, you don't actually have to use the Metro UI. You have the option of switching to the more traditional "Win7-looking" (explorer) interface.

25 posted on 09/23/2011 12:43:29 PM PDT by DesertSapper (CAIN 2012!!!)
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To: Channeling Locke
But Bill is just looking to make sure you have a wonderful "Microsoft Experience".

He doesn't want your perfect experience to be threatened by viruses and worms such as Linux. /sarc

26 posted on 09/23/2011 3:38:09 PM PDT by who_would_fardels_bear
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To: DesertSapper
[roamer_1:] the 'Metro" interface (like anything 'metro') SUCKS.

I disagree completely.

OMG, My first Metro fanboi.

My Windows Phone 7 interface is fast, uncluttered, and intuitive. I (and my son) prefer the UI to on my WP7 phone over his iPhone's IOS interface. My wife is looking forward to upgrading from her Blackberry to a WP7 phone next year. My son is stuck with his iPhone a bit longer.

Hint: It's a friggin phone.

More Metro goodness on the way: WP7.5 "Mango" revision is due out in 2 weeks.

Wheeee!

Also, if you really don't like the Metro UI, you'll need to scrap your Xbox360 and Live as that is moving to a Metro-like UI this Fall.

I wouldn't own a game station if it was given to me. But hint: More than the friggin phone, it's a friggin game station.

However, on a laptop running Win8, you don't actually have to use the Metro UI. You have the option of switching to the more traditional "Win7-looking" (explorer) interface.

I know that. But the intention is telegraphed - like the Program Manager, once upon a time, the Desktop is on the way out - And we are left with a glorified, overly simplified phone interface. I PUT UP WITH my phone's interface, because it is functional without a mouse and keyboard. In no way do I DESIRE that interface. The same goes for my tablet - And both of those platforms (and the game station too), while handy, are very limited in their scope BECAUSE of portability and each their basic nature...

The computer, be it laptop or desktop, does not have a basic nature, and I can guarantee that anyone who uses their computer seriously will not be happy with 'Metro', a simplistic (I am being polite, as I mean retarded) and basically useless interface.

27 posted on 09/23/2011 4:29:05 PM PDT by roamer_1 (Globalism is just socialism in a business suit.)
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To: roamer_1
OMG, My first Metro fanboi.

L337 spelling rulz. U r teh bomb Metro hateboi.

Hint: It's a friggin phone.

Actually, it's a LOT more than a phone. It is now my primary still camera (yes, 5mp is enough for me for now), my only video camera, personal and car music player, GPS navigation device, voice recorder, calendar, and contacts list. I can (but rarely) stream Netflix on it and play occasional chess/logic/puzzle games on it.

But hint: More than the friggin phone, it's a friggin game station.

Most would call it a game 'console' but 'station' works too. Akin to my WP7 phone's multifunction capabilities, my 360 is a LOT more than a game 'station'. It is my primary DVD player, Netflix streaming device, and my wife occasionally uses it as a Media Extender to play our MP3s through the TV connected sound system.

I can guarantee that anyone who uses their computer seriously will not be happy with 'Metro', a simplistic (I am being polite, as I mean retarded) and basically useless interface.

Can I get that guarantee in writing please? By 'computer' I assume you mean a traditional desktop or laptop. Neither of these are the main target for the Metro UI as that is touch-oriented. As for "useless", probably a true statement for most traditional PCs as they don't have capacitive touch screens. Tablet and hybrid laptop-tablet users will accept and probably love the Metro UI.

But what would I know? I'm just an IT guy by trade - I know nothing about GUIs or those new-fangled computer thinggies. Seriously, it's up to the user ... like it; use it - hate it; don't.

28 posted on 09/23/2011 5:44:32 PM PDT by DesertSapper (CAIN 2012!!!)
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To: DesertSapper
L337 spelling rulz. U r teh bomb Metro hateboi.

LOL!

Actually, it's a LOT more than a phone. [...]

meh. It's a phone.

Akin to my WP7 phone's multifunction capabilities, my 360 is a LOT more than a game 'station'.

Meh sommore. I do all that with a computer serving as a media center..streaming from the server in the basement.. or from the web.

Can I get that guarantee in writing please?

You already have it in writing.

By 'computer' I assume you mean a traditional desktop or laptop.

Sure. That is what a 'computer' is. The rest of it is gadgetry.

Tablet and hybrid laptop-tablet users will accept and probably love the Metro UI.

Probably true... but now you are back in gadgets.

But what would I know? I'm just an IT guy by trade

Yeah. Me too... and a programmer to boot.

Seriously, it's up to the user ... like it; use it - hate it; don't.

True enough... Other than the endless calls from my clients trying to figger out where everything went.

29 posted on 09/23/2011 6:07:54 PM PDT by roamer_1 (Globalism is just socialism in a business suit.)
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To: roamer_1
Sure.
Probably true...
Yeah.
True enough...

So other than your "meh" comments because you don't like my phone or 360 ... we agree. Awesome!

I have to ask though ... why is a programmer getting direct calls from clients? You need a helpdesk/incident management team. Of course you might be doing that too. If so, good luck ... clients can be a whiney bunch.

30 posted on 09/23/2011 6:23:12 PM PDT by DesertSapper (CAIN 2012!!!)
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To: DesertSapper
So other than your "meh" comments because you don't like my phone or 360 ... we agree. Awesome!

I don't mind your phone, or your 360. They are no worse or better than they are. I DO mind changing something as ubiquitous as the desktop into something as limited as a phone/tablet interface.

I have to ask though ... why is a programmer getting direct calls from clients? You need a helpdesk/incident management team. Of course you might be doing that too. If so, good luck ... clients can be a whiney bunch.

Most of my programming is based around utilities for techs, and they are a direct expression of necessities in the field - I am first a tech, lest I lose my muse. :)

So yes, I am the help desk as well (probably primarily)... serving SOHO and Residential, and writing in my 'spare' time.

The impact of this new interface (on joe-user) is far more than you know, if one doesn't have the benefit of an educational staff and help desk. Throw in the fact that any software under the sun may be present, and the result is that you and I are on different planets... maybe even different planes of existence.

Believe me, this 'Metro' is doom to me - I can see it coming. There won't be a flurry of calls - it will be a blizzard.

31 posted on 09/23/2011 6:59:39 PM PDT by roamer_1 (Globalism is just socialism in a business suit.)
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To: roamer_1
That blizzard of calls translates to job security for those of us in IT support roles - but I feel your pain on being frontline for fielding calls. Thankfully, I have at least one or two layers to blunt the angry users before they land in my lap.

Reminder, you can always switch the users laptops/desktops back to the more familiar 'explorer' look. However, the growing pains of changing interfaces didn't slow down Apple on their iPhone or iPad. Users WILL adjust to a new UI.

32 posted on 09/23/2011 7:45:58 PM PDT by DesertSapper (CAIN 2012!!!)
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To: bridgemanusa

Well then.. couldn’t “grandma” just “roll her own”?

:-)

She could, but with this new "protection" she wouldn't be able to boot it.

;-)

33 posted on 09/23/2011 10:04:12 PM PDT by Channeling Locke
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