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MrSeb writes "Over the last few days it has emerged that Windows 8 ARM computers, be it tablet, laptop, or possibly even desktop form factor, will be locked down via UEFI's Secure Boot and be unable to run any other, unsigned-by-Microsoft operating systems. This is in strong contrast to x86 Windows 8 PCs, which Microsoft has mandated must be able to run other operating systems. The response from tech pundits and open source advocates has been vitriolic to say the least — but if you look at the bigger picture, MS's position doesn't seem that unreasonable. The iPad, Windows 8's arch enemy, has a locked bootloader that restricts any other OS from loading. Ditto the Nook, Kindle Fire, and many other Android tablets. The fact is, Windows 8 ARM tablets, unlike x86 PCs, will be appliances — and it really is quite common to lock down appliances." Link to Original Source
It is masked but always present.
I don't know who built to it.
It came before the first kernel.