Linux takes on Microsoft down under

It is starting to look like Microsoft’s worst nightmare of another antitrust case is about to erupt again over its coming Windows 8 operating system.

We have already reported how Linux fans were a little concerned about the secure booting feature of Windows 8 locking their favourite operating system out.

Now, according to ZDNet, it seems that Linux Australia members have complained to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) about Microsoft’s plans and been told they have a case.

After Vole announced plans to use the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface’s (UEFI) secure boot feature for devices bearing the “Designed for Windows 8” logo, the group made its complaint.

Its argument was that any software or hardware that is to run on the firmware will need to be signed by Microsoft or the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to be able to execute.

Alternative operating systems like Linux, or even older versions of Windows will not work if OEMs didn’t bundle the secure keys with new operating system releases, allow users a facility to update the secure key list or allow the secure boot feature to be disabled in the firmware options.

The ACCC has hinted that the open-sourcers may have a case if they provided the regulator with more information.

Aussie law does not allow an outfit trading with another imposes some restrictions on the other’s freedom to choose others to work with. All the open sources have to do is prove that Volish dealing would have the effect of lessening competition in the market and Microsoft is toast.

Linux Australia would have to show that the wider market for the particular product or service must be harmed.

Linux Australia president John Ferlito plans to bring the matter up at its next council meeting and the outfit might consider a larger campaign against Windows 8 if the matter was deemed serious.