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Microsoft to lock out other operating systems from Windows 8 ARM PCs & devices

Microsoft and its vendor friends said that there’s no Windows 8 plot to lock other operating systems from Windows 8 devices, but now we know Microsoft was lying.

Journalist Glyn Moody dug around Microsoft’s Windows Hardware Certification Requirements for Windows 8 client and server systems and found on page 116 that will Windows 8 Secure Boot can be disabled: on Intel systems, “Disabling Secure [Boot] must not be possible on ARM systems.”

What does that mean? According to Aaron Williamson, a lawyer with the Software Freedom Law Center an organization that provides pro-bono legal services to developers of Free and open-source software, Microsoft has wasted no time in effectively banning most alternative operating systems on ARM-based devices that ship with Windows 8.

Microsoft will be doing this by using Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI), to block block all other operating systems from Windows 8 systems. UEFI is the 21st century’s replacement to PC and other devices’ BIOS. It’s used to set up your computer and make it ready to boot.

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