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Microsoft Open Source Windows Hardware Linux

Spanish Open Source Group Files Complaint Over Microsoft Use of UEFI Secure Boot 154

sl4shd0rk writes "Hispalinux, which represents Spanish Open Source developers and users, has filed a complaint against Microsoft with the European Commission. 14 pages of grief cited Windows 8 as an 'obstruction mechanism' calling UEFI Secure Boot a 'de facto technological jail for computer booting systems... making Microsoft's Windows platform less neutral than ever.' On March 6 of 2012 the Commission fined Microsoft 561 million Euros for failing to offer users a choice of web browser, and there was also a 2004 ruling which found the company had abused its market position by tying Windows Media Player to Windows itself. Relations appear to remain more tense towards Windows in Europe, so there may be some hope of making UEFI more Linux-friendly. UEFI has been implicated in the death of Samsung laptops running Linux."
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Spanish Open Source Group Files Complaint Over Microsoft Use of UEFI Secure Boot

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 26, 2013 @06:37PM (#43286301)

    ... and that is, to keep secure boot around, but ban the practice of not allowing users to enter their own BIOS keys, or disable it in the BIOS.

    I like secure boot from a security perspective, and we actually use it to lock down some embedded Linux products I've worked on. As long as savvy users can disable/override/change keys, we get the best of both worlds.

  • by volkerdi ( 9854 ) on Tuesday March 26, 2013 @06:50PM (#43286409)

    "so there may be some hope of making UEFI more Linux-friendly"

    The only hope is to make Linux distributions more UEFI friendly. UEFI and Secure Boot is certainly here to stay.

  • Re:Radical (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ackthpt ( 218170 ) on Tuesday March 26, 2013 @06:52PM (#43286429) Homepage Journal

    I would like to see something radical happen which promotes actual technological innovation and hinders all this IP bullshit. If you want to make money you will actually need to produce good products, not create all these ugly "services" and lock-in mechanisms. The only purpose of them is to NOT have to innovate but make money anyway.

    The problem is Microsoft does make good products. They don't make great products, though. To prevent you from having freedom to choose and companies to offer better technology applications/plug-ins they still cling tenaciously to their strategy to lock you into their technology or kill competitors with bundling.

    Imagine only being able to buy the petrol for your automobile at specified stations, where the mixture won't result in a burned out engine. There were businesses once who considered or undertook such business models. (some still do, but not to that extent) Microsoft continues to flirt with this strategy -- once in their kingdom you can only get your water from their well.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 26, 2013 @06:59PM (#43286513)

    'Secure Boot' is designed to prevent alternate OSs from running on that hardware. That's its fundamental purpose.

    The hardware has to be made more Linux-friendly, not the other way around.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 26, 2013 @07:00PM (#43286523)

    I would LOVE to see a distribution which signed the kernel, bootloader and all of its packages and required the user to import a key into the UEFI BIOS to make everything work. That would be progress!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 26, 2013 @07:03PM (#43286551)

    All it needs to do is require the ability to add MY keys to load MY kernel on MY hardware... and allow me to remove keys I don't trust.

    What is so hard about that?

    Of course MS won't allow it...

  • by aaaaaaargh! ( 1150173 ) on Tuesday March 26, 2013 @07:12PM (#43286619)

    What is most important is that the user must perform the same steps for activating secure boot of an operating system regardless of which operating system is being installed. No extra fiddling in the UEFI for non-Microsoft operating systems and no dependence of other OS makers on Microsoft for anything in this process.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 26, 2013 @07:25PM (#43286715)

    If savvy users can disable/override/change keys then so can savvy crackers intent on bypassing your security perspective.

    Security isn't about adding 'another hoop' to someone's day. And giving MS the keys to your security is just asking for it.

    Hmmm... crackers....

  • Re:Radical (Score:4, Insightful)

    by whoever57 ( 658626 ) on Tuesday March 26, 2013 @07:35PM (#43286783) Journal

    The problem is Microsoft does make good products. They don't make great products, though.

    I don't think that is accurate. For the most part, Microsoft makes products that are barely good enough, combined with the fact that Microsoft's monopoly position made it such that most buyers of computers were simply unaware of what was possible. For example, BSODs are rare now, but Microsft was able to convince a generation of buyers that random BSODs were acceptable when competing products did not suffer the same problems.

    The fact is that we don't know how far the industry would have progressed without the illegal anti-trust violations which resulted in the supression of competition.

  • by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Tuesday March 26, 2013 @07:52PM (#43286887)

    That's just absurd. If I buy a computer with an operating system pre-installed then I expect any relevant UEFI configuration done when I get it.

    If I want to install something else, then disabling UEFI secure boot or installing approriate keys for my alternate choice should be on me.

    And if I buy a boxed motherboard at retail, the selection of preinstalled keys should just be another differentiating factor between models and vendors. I am fully prepared for a real world where everything ships with the microsoft bit already installed and that I need to do some extra work if I want something else.

    But the GP is right, I the end user should have the right to disable secure boot and/or install my own keys on any hardware I buy.

    And not just on on computers, but also on tablets and phones, even consoles. But some of those battles are maybe for another day.

  • by Teun ( 17872 ) on Tuesday March 26, 2013 @08:20PM (#43287113) Homepage
    So then, what is absurd?

    Off course a pre-installed computer should come with UEFI secure boot enabled.

    But it should not be a hindrance like we see now to later or right away install the OS of choice.
    Even when keys are a necessity they should still be available to the rightful owner of the hardware, not some outsider like Microsoft.
    You bought a computer with secure boot, disabling it is the wrong option.

  • Re:Radical (Score:5, Insightful)

    by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Tuesday March 26, 2013 @08:30PM (#43287167)

    I would like to see something radical happen which promotes actual technological innovation and hinders all this IP bullshit.

    Many moons ago, now long-forgotten to most of the younger crowd that's moving into spaces like this, there was an informal ideology known as the hacker ethic. One of them, was that knowledge is power, and so it should be shared freely. The right to learn, and the duty to teach, went hand in hand in our community. It didn't matter what laws they passed telling us we couldn't speak, we couldn't teach, couldn't learn -- which is what intellectual property is fundamentally about. We did it anyway. And they called us criminals, they passed laws, they tried to delete us from the network we built, and loved, and replace it with paid shills, corporations, and tons and tons of advertising. And none of that gave a damn about learning, or teaching -- it was about consumption.

    And today, kids these days, they think that consuming their content, their pre-processed and devoid of flavor "knowledge", is what learning is today. And us, those who were here first... it's painful to watch. Sometimes so much so, we have to turn away from our hobbies for awhile, get up, go outside, because the saddest words ever said are "What might have been!" We failed you. The next generation. But we tried. Oh damn, we tried... We thought it would be enough. Nobody could control the internet!

    We never thought that every government in the world, even traditional enemies, would ally themselves with one goal: Destroy this new vessel of human freedom.

    We never thought it would become the tool of your oppression.

  • Re:Radical (Score:4, Insightful)

    by symbolset ( 646467 ) * on Tuesday March 26, 2013 @11:26PM (#43288029) Journal
    Take a look at mobile for a clue how that would turn out. Without Microsoft's - and their partners' "leadership" the pace of progress has been... astounding.
  • Your post got downmodded because you're a nutjob gone off his meds.

Competence, like truth, beauty, and contact lenses, is in the eye of the beholder. -- Dr. Laurence J. Peter