Wash, Bundle, Repeat

M$ is desperately trying to preserve its desktop monopoly and to extend it to smart thingies by requiring OEMs to allow only signed software to boot on new machines that may run “8”. Think of the advantages, for M$:

  • M$ can arrange that no future release can run on any older machine, requiring the machine to be replaced with the software. OEMs will love that…
  • M$ can arrange that no competitor’s software can run on a new machine.
  • M$ can enforce that the OS can die at a predetermined time and the whole unit must be replaced.

This is M$’s “wet dream”. Bill can finally realize 100% monopoly if M$ can get OEMs to produce such hardware and no other.

Would it be legal? No. Could M$ get away with it? Only if governments do nothing. This is the tip of a global conspiracy to bundle hardware and software to the detriment of FLOSS and other competitors of M$.

I can see the legal shenanigans:

  • “other OS incapable” law suits,
  • antitrust actions globally,
  • OEMs suing M$ because such products will be banned from importation in large parts of the globe, and
  • I hope, the breakup of M$ and the end of bundling.

I hope M$ has shot itself in the foot with this one. The scope is too large to ignore and consumers will finally see that FLOSS is important if they are to keep a PC running longer than M$ wants. The best solution is to ban imports of such products as “not fit for use”. Then OEMs will have to ship FLOSS PCs whether M$ wants it or not.

I would bet this nonsense is part of the talks between ARM and M$. Why else would ARM even be in communication with M$?

I don’t see how M$’s dream can be fulfilled as long as there are any independent OEMs left. M$ may spin this as the OEMs’ problem but the OEMs should know better. Previously M$ was taxing the OEMs’ customers. Now, M$ is preventing customers using PCs as they expect.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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13 Responses to Wash, Bundle, Repeat

  1. oiaohm says:

    D-G Issue is no where in the MS certification processes does MS check if you can still boot unsigned.

    By uefi spec you should be able to add own keys and load unsigned. Its the Microsoft certification test suit that is suspect.

    Mind you us linux people have been once bitten twice shy over this. The great non working acpi debarcle. where the MS bios test suite said the acpi was perfect when in fact Linux would not start and Windows was random-ally crashing.

    Basically MS track record with bios test suites is crap.

    Do you know why Linux kernel developers call bios coders the worst coders on earth in most cases.

    If there is not a test in a microsoft test suite for a feature you can almost 100 percent bet it don’t work.

    So since MS certification test for windows 8 uefi does not test unsigned presume that don’t work because for atleast a percentage of machines it will not. Also MS says having the off switch is optional. Great worse. Means to add keys is also optional since the test suite does not test that either.

    Basically it is screwed.

  2. ch says:

    “M$ requires OEMs to ship mobos with M$’s key for their OS version “8″.”

    Almost correct: MS requires OEMs who want a “Win8” logo to activate Secure Boot. Of course, every OEM with more than one brain cell will include Windows keys – and the function to disable Secure Boot on consumer PCs.

    “OEMs are not going to ship keys for every 3-monthly release of Linux, in advance for ten years, say.”

    Why not ? I mean, you keep telling us what a gigantic market share Linux must have by now, so what dumb OEM would want to miss that business ?

  3. D-G says:

    “D-G Really even for Microsoft users who need todo data recovery and forensics the Microsoft move is bad.”

    How often do you need to get it hammered into your head? You still can boot other operating systems. Even without signed keys. Read Steven Sinofsky’s article carefully. Even you might get a clue. (That’s wishful thinking, I know.)

  4. ch wrote, ““M$ can arrange that no competitor’s software can run on a new machine.”

    No, they can’t.”

  5. M$ requires OEMs to ship mobos with M$’s key for their OS version “8”.
  6. No other OS has that key, so they won’t run.
  7. OEMs are not going to ship keys for every 3-monthly release of Linux, in advance for ten years, say.