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Red Hat Will Pay Microsoft To Get Past UEFI Restrictions

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the one-low-low-price-but-still dept.

Microsoft 809

ToriaUru writes "Fedora is going to pay Microsoft to let them distribute a PC operating system. Microsoft is about to move from effectively owning the PC hardware platform to literally owning it. Once Windows 8 is released, hardware manufacturers will be forced to ship machines that refuse to run any software that is not explicitly approved by Microsoft — and that includes competing operating systems like Linux. Technically Fedora didn't have to go down this path. But, as this article explains, they are between a rock and a hard place: if they didn't pay Microsoft to let them onto the PC platform, they would have to explain to their potential users how to mess with firmware settings just to install the OS. How long before circumventing the secure boot mechanism is considered a DMCA violation and a felony?" Note that the author says this is likely, but that the entire plan is not yet "set in stone."

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Hewwy! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40170803)

A few weeks ago, I foolishly ran a strange executable file that one of my acquaintances sent me by email. As someone who doesn't know much about computers, at the time, I thought nothing of it. "Why would my acquaintance want to hurt me?" Following this line of thought, I ran the file without question.

How naive I was. Despite having what was supposedly the best anti-virus software out right then, a virus took over my computer and held it hostage. It was pretending to be a warning from Windows telling me to buy some strange anti-virus software I'd never heard of from a company I'd never heard of to remove the virus.

This immediately set alarm bells off in my head. "How could this happen? My anti-virus is supposed to be second to none!" Faced with this harsh reality, I decided to take it to a PC repair shop for repair. They gladly accepted the job, told me it'd be fixed in a few days, and sent me off with a smile.

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After returning home, I tried to fix it myself (despite the fact that even the professionals couldn't do it). After about a day or so, I was losing my very mind. I stopped going to work, stopped eating, was depressed, and I would very frequently throw my precious belongings across the room and break them; that is how bad this virus was.

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Microsoft Pledges to Sell More Macs for Apple (4, Interesting)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 2 years ago | (#40171023)

I was at 2 major industry tech conferences last month.

In every keynote and all-hands session, Apple hardware was center and present. Nothing special was made of this - just every damn computer used to demo solutions or held by a GM, VP or C-Level was a MacBook. Desktops were non-existant. Every time an iPad could be used, it was. There were a couple of minor Android appearances - demonstrating multi-platform support, or what not.

There were a few odds: The HP guys had their own gear, and the IBMers had Lenovos. Some brilliant man from SAP was sadly dragging a 'book of non-descript, perhaps Dell sourced, black plastic...

Overwhelmingly, if you wanted to look like you knew why-the-fuck you ought to be on stage, in front of 8,000 people, you went Mac.

Re:Microsoft Pledges to Sell More Macs for Apple (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40171051)

Not really. Apple machines are a PITA with weird hardware for Linux users too. All it means is Linux users will go back to building their own PCs. Box shifters will simply do a parallel line for server sales.

Why not hardware manufacturers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40170819)

I don't understand how Microsoft is as fault here. Isn't it the hardware manufacturers that are locking out everyone but Microsoft? Shouldn't the hw people be the ones to make the platform open?

Re:Why not hardware manufacturers? (-1, Flamebait)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 2 years ago | (#40170905)

Look, Mr Dell. It'd be a pity if only Lenovo and HP got to run the new Windows.

Look here, Mr. Lenovo...

Re:Why not hardware manufacturers? (2, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 2 years ago | (#40171093)

I'm just wondering why Fedora doesn't include a small boot ISO that starts up, presents a simple menu, and takes the pain of unlocking the UEFI chip out of the equation.

I agree perfectly that they shouldn't have to do that, but the tech is certainly there, and most folks are sufficiently apt enough to do it (see also jailbreaking phones, etc).

Re:Why not hardware manufacturers? (4, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | about 2 years ago | (#40170907)

I don't understand how Microsoft is as fault here. Isn't it the hardware manufacturers that are locking out everyone but Microsoft? Shouldn't the hw people be the ones to make the platform open?

You have to do it MS's way or they won't let you sell hardware with Windows on it. MS controls the certificates used in the secure UEFI boot process. You either do it MS's way or you do it your own way ... without any MS products to pre-install.

Re:Why not hardware manufacturers? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40171021)

Good thing Microsoft's way includes a required option in the UEFI setup to turn off secure boot. This whole story is horribly misleading.

Re:Why not hardware manufacturers? (4, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | about 2 years ago | (#40171127)

Good thing Microsoft's way includes a required option in the UEFI setup to turn off secure boot. This whole story is horribly misleading.

So they must turn off secure booting in order to run another operating system. The DMCA implications aside, I'm not sure which is worse for the consumer: a 'secure boot' of Windows or a 'non-secure' boot of any other operating system?

Re:Why not hardware manufacturers? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40171171)

I'm going to go ahead and guess the computer you are using now boots through BIOS. The non-secure UEFI is practically the same as BIOS (doesn't require a signed boot loader). We dealt with it for a couple decades now, it can't be that bad.

Re:Why not hardware manufacturers? (3, Interesting)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | about 2 years ago | (#40171237)

I boot through EFI, which isn't this new fangled 'secure' UEFI ... and yes, it's secure enough. My comment was targeted at the marketing mindset that MS will be pushing to try to convince non-Windows users that without MS's blessing your OS is no longer 'secure'.

Re:Why not hardware manufacturers? (3, Informative)

liquiddark (719647) | about 2 years ago | (#40171241)

So they must turn off secure booting in order to run another operating system.

From TFA:

While Microsoft have modified their original position and all x86 Windows machines will be required to have a firmware option to disable this or to permit users to enrol their own keys

If they know what they're doing they're ok. Fedora is doing this for the rest of their users.

Re:Why not hardware manufacturers? (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | about 2 years ago | (#40171301)

If they know what they're doing they're ok. Fedora is doing this for the rest of their users.

Though most Linux users will be brave enough to do this for themselves, those who are on the fence or who want to try something besides Windows may not be willing to futz with the UEFI (formerly known as BIOS) boot config.

Re:Why not hardware manufacturers? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40171197)

Why can't I just be in control of my own damn property without being at the mercy of manufacturers?

Re:Why not hardware manufacturers? (5, Insightful)

firewrought (36952) | about 2 years ago | (#40171313)

Good thing Microsoft's way includes a required option in the UEFI setup to turn off secure boot. This whole story is horribly misleading.

G'uhgh.... once again geeks confusing a technical capability with a real-world practicality. Turning off secure boot sounds bad and raises the barrier to entry for non-Microsoft OS'es. It also complicates the newbie install experience, which is something that Ubuntu, Debian, and many others have worked for years to simplify. And now they are using their monopoly position to extort tribute from a competitor.

Re:Why not hardware manufacturers? (4, Insightful)

shentino (1139071) | about 2 years ago | (#40170915)

MS is probably strongarming them.

Re:Why not hardware manufacturers? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40170959)

If I had points, I'd mod you up. Your insight is boundless.

Re:Why not hardware manufacturers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40171087)

I'm pretty sure companies like Amazon, Facebook and Google will have no problem installing Linux on their servers.
--
Sundar Pichai is the utter asshole whose incompetence has resulted in the shutdown of Google's Atlanta office.

Re:Why not hardware manufacturers? (2)

sjames (1099) | about 2 years ago | (#40171223)

There's plenty of fault to go around. MS is strong-arming the HW guys and the hw guys aren't even demanding lube. Meanwhile, the DOJ should be standing in the corner twirling a pair of handcuffs rather than sucking at Ballmer's ass.

Lawsuit here I come (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40170833)

Well your honor, i bough this Item from company X and their Partner company Y won't let me do XX to My property, and XX is perfectly legal.

Wow M$ though that one through...

Lawsuit (1)

dmitrygr (736758) | about 2 years ago | (#40170837)

Lawsuit in 3...2....1..

Re:Lawsuit (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40171115)

EU will have a field day with this in court. MS, of course, will be the ones having a bad day in court.

lottery for me (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40170845)

I'll play the lotto or something. God is just.

God says...

the seventh he shall go out free for nothing.

21:3 If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were
married, then his wife shall go out with him.

21:4 If his master have given him a wife, and she have born him sons
or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master's, and he
shall go out by himself.

21:5 And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife,
and my children; I will not go out free: 21:6 Then his master shall
bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or
unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an
aul; and he shall serve him for ever.

21:7 And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not
go out as the menservants do.

If microsoft controls the 'keys' (5, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | about 2 years ago | (#40170853)

How can this be legal and not an abuse of their monopoly power?

Aside from the fact you can turn it off ( for now ) it still sounds like a clear case of abuse to me and someone should be talking to an attorney about this.

Re:If microsoft controls the 'keys' (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40170947)

Yeah, if this isn't "monopolistic action in restraint of trade" I'm not sure what is. MS is probably greedy enough to try something like this, but I don't think they're stupid enough to think they can get away with it.

Re:If microsoft controls the 'keys' (4, Insightful)

ZeroSumHappiness (1710320) | about 2 years ago | (#40171055)

I particularly like how the UEFI signing format only allows one key to sign it and that signature being (apparently) on the hardware. Yeah, this isn't a clear way of entrenching a monopolistic interest at all. I mean, I understand why someone would want secured, signed hardware all the way up the stack (assuming, of course that no one breaks the scheme), but it's entirely obvious how this makes it harder for the little man to get ahead in the game.

Re:If microsoft controls the 'keys' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40171057)

Simple, when you buy congress then its perfectly legal. Its only when MS stops paying off congress-people and senators will this become illegal.

Re:If microsoft controls the 'keys' (-1, Troll)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#40171085)

Because Microsoft increased their political contributions [opensecrets.org] by an order of magnitude after the anti-trust trial. It was never about protecting consumers, it was a shakedown pure and simple. Microsoft didn't pay the requisite bribes, and they suffered for it. Now they've learned their lesson, and you can expect pretty much anything they do to be ignored by the DOJ. Especially Obama's DOJ.

Re:If microsoft controls the 'keys' (5, Informative)

zill (1690130) | about 2 years ago | (#40171119)

Microsoft isn't scared of the DOJ. In the last anti-trust case [wikipedia.org] Microsoft was found to have committed monopolization and tying and yet they paid exactly 0 dollars and 0 cents in fines.

Re:If microsoft controls the 'keys' (5, Interesting)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 2 years ago | (#40171135)

Maybe that's why Microsoft was so eager to drop in that 'no class action' thing into their EULA.

Re:If microsoft controls the 'keys' (1)

Korin43 (881732) | about 2 years ago | (#40171247)

Basically, Red Hat is big enough that they could get hardware companies to put another key on their hardware, but no one wants to manage that key except for Microsoft.

FTA:

An alternative was producing some sort of overall Linux key. It turns out that this is also difficult, since it would mean finding an entity who was willing to take responsibility for managing signing or key distribution. That means having the ability to keep the root key absolutely secure and perform adequate validation of people asking for signing. That's expensive. Like millions of dollars expensive. It would also take a lot of time to set up, and that's not really time we had. And, finally, nobody was jumping at the opportunity to volunteer. So no generic Linux key.

Re:If microsoft controls the 'keys' (4, Insightful)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | about 2 years ago | (#40171259)

Because charging Red Hat, a billion dollar company, $99 for access to signing services is not "monopoly abuse"? The author of TFA already pointed out that nothing stops somebody from providing the same services to the Linux community, but it's difficult and expensive and they can't be bothered, so it's easier to pay Microsoft to do it for them. As can anyone else.

Secure boots and trusted computing are fundamentally a good idea. Having OEMs provide a set of root keys to control what boots is a good idea. The problem is the creator of BobLinux who wants to have thousands of random users install his random kernel is indistinguishable technically from the creator of some boot sector malware who wants to have thousands of users permanently rooted. It becomes distinguishable once you have people who check out what the software is and signs it, which is the service Microsoft are providing - for very little, actually. As I said, apparently others don't feel like offering similar services when it's expensive to do and Microsoft are offering to do it cheaply. But they could.

Re:If microsoft controls the 'keys' (-1, Troll)

ClintJCL (264898) | about 2 years ago | (#40171311)

When Apple ties our hands, it's to increase user experience. We're supposed to love that thumb up our ass.

When Microsoft ties our hands, 'how can this be legal and not an abuse of their monopoly power'?

The thing is, they don't have a monopoly, and never have. Anybody can run and write for whatever OS they want. Though every developer who's worked under multiple platforms has always told me Apple is the worst to program for.

PCs turning into a closed platform... (5, Insightful)

eagee (1308589) | about 2 years ago | (#40170857)

...is about the only thing that might turn me into an Apple user.

Re:PCs turning into a closed platform... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40170993)

Microsoft proposes draconian DRM schemes.

Apple implements them.

Re:PCs turning into a closed platform... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40171111)

You say that, but Apple implemented EFI years ago, and then even helped users who wanted to install Windows or other operating systems via BootCamp.

Re:PCs turning into a closed platform... (0)

Dog-Cow (21281) | about 2 years ago | (#40171163)

Really?

PlayForSure
Product Activation
WGA

What does Apple have? Some DRM on iTunes Video?

Both companies have locked down phones.

Re:PCs turning into a closed platform... (1)

FudRucker (866063) | about 2 years ago | (#40171147)

i will put the used PC resellers on speed dial when this borks the new PCs

WRONG!!! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40171227)

The PC industry turning into a closed platform environment would make me turn to building my computer from the ground up. From the COMPONENT LEVEL!

Re:PCs turning into a closed platform... (-1)

fermion (181285) | about 2 years ago | (#40171269)

This kind of shenanigans is why I use apple products. Right now I can install any free OS using free Virtual Box or just native. This has always been the case. If I try to install MS Windows, I must have copy of windows for each VM, and hope that the license allows it to be used in a VM. I must call and beg MS to allow me to make a hardware change.

I also must hope that there are drivers for each and every peripheral, because MS does not have generic drivers that just lets us plug and play on the USB port. Before the USB port, to get anything to run on the PC required a intimate knowledge of interrupts.

This MS tax has always been the case when it comes to buying PCs. Now, one can buy a PC in more configurations, so that it is sometimes cheaper, but the PC is generally going to cost more because time is not free. If you want to run something else, you are paying MS plus your time. I suppose you could build a machine, but better not be in an office where you haven't paid the MS site tax. It is much simpler to just get a mac.

Re:PCs turning into a closed platform... (2)

ClintJCL (264898) | about 2 years ago | (#40171275)

This is exactly the same as what Apple does. I am totally embarrassed and full of pity when reading your comment.

That's it... (-1, Troll)

Timex (11710) | about 2 years ago | (#40170873)

I've been a fan of Red Hat/Fedora since... well, just after they started providing a distro on the Intel platform (some of us remember when Red Hat was only available for the DEC Alpha)...

I think it's time to consider a new distro, if this is how they want to work. I've been putting off looking at Mint, but I guess that will change soon.

Re:That's it... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40170929)

How does this make you mad at RHEL/Fedora and not Microsoft? Admittedly, Red Hat is negotiating with terrorists here, and that may not be the best option for the ecosystem, but I can see how they would choose that path given that their business--one that helps the linux ecosystem tremendously--is in risk.

Re:That's it... (4, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | about 2 years ago | (#40170973)

Red Hat is willing to pay to be licensed to be able to run on the new hardware. They are going out of their way so you can run Fedora on the new hardware. And you want to ditch them because of it? Remind me never to buy you a beer.

Re:That's it... (4, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 2 years ago | (#40171015)

Microsoft doesn't have the right to "license" hard ware. It's not their hardware, it's not even their design.

This is Microsoft forcing vendors in the corner with their O.S. once again. This is non-competitive behavior once again.

If they have such a great O.S. there is no need for locking out others. It's weak and it's sick.

Re:That's it... (2)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | about 2 years ago | (#40171089)

You are correct, but MS is using its dominance to control hardware vendors. A 'licensed' secure boot certificate - licensed from MS - is what will allow Fedora to boot using the secure UEFI boot mechanism.

Re:That's it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40171229)

There is a need. It's a security request from many sources. Given that Microsoft will have to be involved in the process regardless, getting worked up over their implementation is silly.

If you really wanted freedom, you d implement a solution yourself.

Re:That's it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40171133)

I would much rather see them taking the money spent on Microsoft's extortion and instead applying it to an anti-trust lawsuit. Complacency here starts us down a very nasty rabbit hole.

Re:That's it... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40171007)

The point of the whole article is that the next generation of UEFI-compliant hardware will not be able to boot unsigned code. So-called "trusted" computing has made it to mainstream consumer devices. Distros that do not get their bootloader signed will not be able to run on unmodified hardware since the firmware will be configured to refuse-by-default.

Re:That's it... (4, Informative)

Burdell (228580) | about 2 years ago | (#40171091)

Red Hat Linux started on x86; it was never "only available for the DEC Alpha" (it didn't get ported to Alpha for several years).

They are doing this so that Fedora can be installed without end users having to disable Secure Boot in their UEFI firmware settings. If you want to disable Secure Boot, Fedora will run equally well. Fedora is also going to have signing tools, so you put your own key in the firmware and then sign your own loader and kernel (giving you more control, not less). If you switch to another distribution or OS that doesn't have a signed boot-loader, you'll also have to disable Secure Boot.

This "feature" exists because malware that affects the boot loader and kernel is a real and growing problem, and there isn't really any other technical means to block it. Setting up an independent CA to sign keys for loaders and then trying to get vendors to include the CA key would be highly expensive and would still result in Fedora having a key that you don't have. As long as Microsoft will sign things cheap, it is much better to go that route (if they were to stop signing, then this would obviously change).

The alternative is to tell users that want to run Fedora to not buy hardware that has the Secure Boot functionality, but that is going to become scarce once Windows 8 ships. Here in the real world, I'd like to continue running Fedora on new hardware.

Re:That's it... (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40171219)

>>>I think it's time to consider a new distro, if this is how Red Hat/Fedora want to work

But the other distros won't work.
Did you not RTFS?
Also I don't recall Red Hat ever saying their were "free as in liberty" software. It's always been a non-free system.

Would someone please explain to me... (4, Insightful)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 2 years ago | (#40170899)

... how the FUCK this passes the slightest hint of anti-trust scrutiny?

Where are antitrust lawyers now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40170909)

Didn't Microsoft already lose antitrust case before? What makes this allowed now? Because Apple has done it before?

Re:Where are antitrust lawyers now? (1)

virgnarus (1949790) | about 2 years ago | (#40170975)

They're doing the same with IE [theregister.co.uk] , so they get to deal with two antitrust cases.

Re:Where are antitrust lawyers now? (0)

Dog-Cow (21281) | about 2 years ago | (#40171187)

When did Apple lock out other OS's from the boot loader? Oh yeah... never.

no (1)

ClintJCL (264898) | about 2 years ago | (#40171191)

No, it's not antitrust. You can get a phone or an apple device. Of course, those devices will also only let you run things the company wants you to run (with the exception of Android). Microsoft isn't doing anything evil here. They're simply moving from the high ground to the low ground, because that's what Apple already did.

rock meets hard place (2)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 2 years ago | (#40170945)

I am pretty sure that if a hardware manufacturer like Dell locks out Linux operating systems that quite a number of large institutions like Universities will refuse to buy from them. I am not 100% sure because there are a lot of unis with microsoft-centric IT departments. Institutions with hard sciences depend quite heavily on different flavors of Unix and Linux to get work done.

Anyway... this is a disgrace and it's bound to blow up in quite a number of people's faces.

copyright (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#40170951)

...they would have to explain to their potential users how to mess with firmware settings just to install the OS. How long before circumventing the secure boot mechanism is considered a DMCA violation and a felony?"

The only real option here is to ignore the law, as many of us here do now. The United States, and much of the western world, has become so enamored with short-term profit gain, that they're sacrificing the technological progress of all of humanity. The only rational course of action is to ignore them until another group or organization either through economic, political, or military means, remediates the problem.

Yes, I am suggesting that copyright law could eventually become an issue which countries go to war over. No, I don't think it's that crazy: Governments are already engaging in mass electronic attacks of their enemies. It's only a matter of time before things get physical. UEFI could be perceived as a threat to national security: It's giving one corporation carte blanche access to hardware owned by other governments. Redmond, WA may soon be ringed with missiles and armed guards to keep out other governments when they find out their hardware has been taken over by a foreign power. This is just how the world seems to be evolving... there's too much at stake now.

BeOS anticompetition revisited (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40170977)

http://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240052523/BeOS-will-live-on-as-Microsoft-settles-legal-action

Any lawyer looking for prior history..this settlement, and the suit claimed might be useful.

The article is wrong. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40170979)

This has nothing to do with PCs. Nothing. Not one thing.
This is all in reference to UEFI on ARM tablets that Microsoft has partnered up with OEMs to produce to their specs SPECIFICALLY FOR: Windows 8.

Nothing has changed here, nearly all ARM systems are locked down today by OEMs.
Do any of you expect Microsoft to produce one that isn't (zune: locked down xbox: locked down)?

Re:The article is wrong. (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about 2 years ago | (#40171173)

This makes more sense. As it is, the writing is on the wall that people won't be wanting Windows 8 on their PCs, so PC manufacturers might as well continue to ship boxes w/o UEFI, since it's not a requirement in Windows 7. But for the tablets or phones, it's justified, particularly if Windows RT is put on a tablet or phone, and the manufacturer doesn't want WRT to be replaced by Android, any more than an Android tablet would be replaced by WRT, or iOS would be replaced by Android.

Re:The article is wrong. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40171279)

This isn't even about all tablets, just the ARM tablets. In short, it's the same thing you get with Android and iOS tablets, except that Slashdot is furious about it.

I may pick up a x86 Win 8 tablet, so far it looks like the only place that UI is worth using.

Re:The article is wrong. (2)

Burdell (228580) | about 2 years ago | (#40171307)

Nope, you've got it wrong. To get the Windows 8 "certification", Microsoft is requiring x86 vendors to ship systems with UEFI Secure Boot enable. They are requiring there also be a way for end users to add/remove keys and completely disable Secure Boot as well.

For Windows 8 on ARM, Microsoft is not only requiring Secure Boot, but requiring the exact opposite of x86: that it cannot be disabled or keys modified.

Note that Fedora is not planning on signing the ARM binaries; that would be releasing something that the users can't modify, and they don't think that's right (the answer there is "don't buy Windows tablets and expect to run anything other than Windows on them").

Pot meet Kettle (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40171001)

So, it is OK for Apple to do it, because its a 'better' system, but when Microsoft does it, it should be illegal? Apple fannatics lack any sense.

Not Legal in Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40171011)

Microsoft would get a HUGE Ginormous smackdown over this in the EU.

Re:Not Legal in Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40171103)

Microsoft would get a HUGE Ginormous smackdown over this in the EU.

Lets hope so.
Fuck Microsoft and all it stands for.

Re:Not Legal in Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40171167)

I believe they will, if the EU's past MS battles are anything to go by... Browser choice wars? America didn't care. Europe sure did.

$99 bucks (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40171013)

Wait - Is this article saying they paid a whole $99 bucks to get their bootloader signed?

Re:$99 bucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40171077)

Wait - Is this article saying they paid a whole $99 bucks to get their bootloader signed?

Does it matter what the price is?

Re:$99 bucks (0)

BitterOak (537666) | about 2 years ago | (#40171129)

Wait - Is this article saying they paid a whole $99 bucks to get their bootloader signed?

$99 bucks is a hell of a lot of money, when you consider that many desktop PCs sell for $700 and less. It's about the cost of a Windows OEM license. Why should you have to pay that much for a free operating system?

Re:$99 bucks (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40171285)

It's not $99 per pc , it's a one-time $99 dollar fee for access to the dev portal. But that is beside the point, Why should they have to pay MS anything? Why is it only MS that has the certificate for UEFI?

Re:$99 bucks (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40171309)

Reading comprehension brought to you by Public Education.

It's $99 paid once by Redhat, not per PC.

DIDN'T MONTY PYTHON DO IT ALREADY ?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40171045)

Got to pay the man to cross the bridge !! And you know how that turned out !!

$99 (4, Interesting)

Greger47 (516305) | about 2 years ago | (#40171061)

What the sensationalist headline and summary forgot to mention is that RedHat is paying a whopping $99 to Microsoft.

What is more worrisome and more headline worthy is that Microsoft has now become the de facto gatekeeper of your computer BIOS. Without their signature you operating system will not run.

/greger

Why bother with PC hardware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40171109)

Just ignore PC hardware. As android devices become as powerful as PCs were just a few years ago just get a tablet, install your favorite distro. Add HDMI monitor + kb + mouse. It will just be another nail in the PC coffin.

Re:Why bother with PC hardware? (0)

ClintJCL (264898) | about 2 years ago | (#40171183)

Anything PC is always cheaper than the same thing on Android. Yea... HDMI off a phone. That just sounds great. I'm sure I'd love to have to set up a phone charger by my TV to watch a movie. Oh wait, my phone is a land line. 64kbps vs 5kbps. I can actually hear people.

They are talking about having to pay 99 USD. (4, Informative)

DAldredge (2353) | about 2 years ago | (#40171121)

Microsoft will be offering signing services through their sysdev portal. It's not entirely free (there's a one-off $99 fee to gain access), but it's cheaper than any realistic alternative would have been. It ensures compatibility with as wide a range of hardware as possible and it avoids Fedora having any special privileges over other Linux distributions. If there are better options then we haven't found them. So, in all probability, this is the approach we'll take. Our first stage bootloader will be signed with a Microsoft key.

Re:They are talking about having to pay 99 USD. (0)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#40171221)

it's cheaper than any realistic alternative would have been

You mean like including a switch on the motherboard that allows an OS to be installed? Or just letting users install whatever OS they want?

Obvious, but serious question (1)

lyapunov (241045) | about 2 years ago | (#40171137)

Could somebody, who is hopefully familiar with corporate law, explain how this could possible hold up in court against an antitrust complaint?

Re:Obvious, but serious question (1)

paulatz (744216) | about 2 years ago | (#40171293)

Could somebody, who is hopefully familiar with corporate law, explain how this could possible hold up in court against an antitrust complaint?

It can hold thanks to the fact that the payment is a one-off of 99$. Of course they can always decide to change their pricing policy, but at the moment it is only a symbolic sum, like the 5$ you need to publish on the google app store (or whatever it is called this month)

WTF? (-1, Flamebait)

LVSlushdat (854194) | about 2 years ago | (#40171143)

Good God!! If MS (or the h/w mfgrs) *think* they can get away with something like this, they must be smoking the same waky-tabaky that Comrade Obama is smoking, that has him asserting that he's spent less than any president in modern history, or somesuch bat-s**t insane claim like that.. Since all of the machines I've bought in the last 10 years or so have come with some kind of MS Windows on them, I've always, until just recently, made them dual-boot with whatever flavor of Linux I was into at the time. Now, they aren't even dual-boot'ed, they get wiped, and they get either Debian, if for my own use, or Ubuntu if for the wife's use. For the one or two Windows apps I can't do without, and won't run under Wine, I have a WindowsXP Virtualbox VM for these holdouts. The day I go to buy a machine and find that I'm locked out of putting MY CHOICE of OS on it, is the day I get PISSED!!!

Just copying Apple. (0)

ClintJCL (264898) | about 2 years ago | (#40171165)

Looks like Microsoft is starting to take plays from Apple's playbook. Steve Jobs helped us race to the bottom. Steve Wozniak weeps.

Can you not simply turn it off? (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 2 years ago | (#40171215)

When you want to run Windows, turn the thing on. When you want to run a different OS, turn it off.

Not that I think that this is remotely a good thing, but really... we've seen this coming for something on the order of a decade or more now. Is anybody surprised?

Wow (4, Informative)

a90Tj2P7 (1533853) | about 2 years ago | (#40171243)

I'd blame the drama over this just on the article, but the summary's definitely got some FUD to it as well. For x86 systems, all you need to do is turn off the feature [arstechnica.com] . And that's if you insist on running unsigned software - it's not like there isn't an open and inexpensive process to get signed.

How will this affect Building your OWN PC? (1)

Angrywhiteshoes (2440876) | about 2 years ago | (#40171251)

So, just as the subject asks, is this going to affect pc builders in anyway? For instance, I haven't purchased a pre-built computer in almost a decade, aside from laptops. I assume this means that if companies want to sell items that want to be able to run windows 8, they'll have to support this policy.

Might be time to purchase a stockpile of parts just to weather the storm.

vapor hardware (1)

mbaGeek (1219224) | about 2 years ago | (#40171273)

I don't think Microsoft will actually be able to do what the article is worried about - and it probably requires a history lesson on how the PC (and PC "clones") came about in the first place to fully explain "why" - but I'll just point everyone at Triumph of the Nerds [pbs.org]

and does anyone remember IBM's "microchannel"? [wikipedia.org]

the lesson from Microchannel was that people don't HAVE to pay you royalties just because you are the industry leader and come up with something new - they can form a gang of nine [wikipedia.org] and do it another way...

this sounds a lot like Microsoft saying "pay us and get in the box" - I don't think they have that kind of power (and if you were working on PC's in the mid-late 90's you probably saw IBM PS/2's getting sold by the skid to be melted down for the gold in the connectors MCA used)

Shelley's "Ozymandias" is probably relevant ("My name is Microsoft, king of software/Look on my operating systems, ye competitiors, and despair") :-)

what about loading windows 7 on new systems (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 2 years ago | (#40171277)

what about loading windows 7 on new systems MS trying to lock that out will be very bad for enterprise.

Most places have just / still are rolling out windows 7 so no way they will go to windows 8 this year. Also windows 8 needs to have the old start menu come back as well app side loading at least let enterprise have then own IN HOUSE apps that don't need to go though a store to be loaded.

Glad I quit Linux (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40171287)

No Flash on Linux. No booting Linux without BIOS weirdness. Glad I jumped ship to Mac a few years ago. Linux has just became a pain in the ass to use as a modern desktop environment if you like to use computers for typical things.

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