Software colossus Microsoft has denied that its new Windows 8 operating system has been cunningly designed to lock out Linux.
For ages Open Sources have been running dual boot set ups with Windows and Linux running alongside from a standardised boot.
However in the new Windows 8, UEFI firmware will replace the low level BIOS and the ability to lock down computers so that operating systems need to be digitally signed via ‘secure boot’.
Writing in his bog, Cambridge University security engineering professor Ross Anderson warned that by Microsoft pushing for mandatory UEFI support meant “unauthorised operating systems like Linux and FreeBSD just won’t run at all.”
He said that this would mean an increased lock-in, decreased consumer choice and lack of space to innovate. It is clearly unlawful and must not succeed.
However Microsoft’s Windows top Vole Steven Sinofsky hit back, saying that the argument was pants.
Sinofsky said that secure boot did not lock out operating system loaders, but was a policy that allows firmware to validate authenticity of components/
Vole has posted a long description of UEFI and Windows 8 support for the next-generation security feature and claims that it does not control the settings on PC firmware that control or enable secured boot from any operating system other than Windows.
If a manufacturer wanted to disable the UEFI secure boot, she or he could and Vole has created a feature that does just that.