Furthermore, MS actually bent over backwards on x86 and required for certification that the option to disable secure boot be provided (they could have been silent on this issue):
"Enable/Disable Secure Boot. On non-ARM systems, it is required to implement the ability to disable Secure Boot via firmware setup. A physically present user must be allowed to disable Secure Boot via firmware setup without possession of PKpriv."
I'd wait for MS's response on ARM. They've taken some interesting architectural approaches with their current ARM implementation (striped and actually secure SD cards). There may be architectural reasons for this. Or it could be that there are security issues with it, given that UEFI on ARM is pretty new.
But in any case, if this is important to an OEM they can simply not get HW certification. This doesn't block anyone from actually installing Windows 8 on ARM on machines w/o this capability.
From page 109 of windows8-hardware-cert-requirements-system.pdf:
Target Feature: System.Fundamentals.Firmware
Title: All client systems must be able to boot into UEFI
boot mode and attempt to boot into this
mode by default
Applicable OS Versions:
Windows 8 Client x86
Windows 8 Client x64
Windows 8 Client ARM
Windows 8 Server x64
Windows Server 2008 Release 2 x64
The System firmware must be able to achieve UEFI mode
boot by default. Such a system may also
support fallback to legacy BIOS mode boot for deploying
OS images which do not support UEFI, if the
user explicitly selects that option in the pre-boot UEFI BIOS menu.
This requirement is If Implemented for Server systems and applies
only if a Server system is UEFI capable.
I believe that implementation requirements for legacy BIOS mode are not part of the certification.
And in any event, it is likely that the BIOS Boot Specification (BBS) could be used to provide for unique hardware requirements during booting.
Why should we give Microsoft a pass? Because they're the underdog? No. Android is not 100% open (e.g. binary-only kernel modules for proprietary hardware, Google not releasing honeycomb, ...) But that's no excuse for Microsoft to use cryptography against the customer.
Microsoft must face the ill-will it generated this way, including the ill-will toward its attempts to mandate UEFI Secure Boot on the PC. This move on the ARM platform will be used (by me and others) to demonstrate that the UEFI Secure Boot requirement on the PC cannot be accepted.
EDIT: I am a device user, not a hardware OEM, like im certain most of the posters here are, to users of the device it really does not matter at all WHO is forcing the lockdown, the fact that it happens is the issue. Not sure why that very obvious point garners downvotes.
This is fairly specific anti-competitive behaviour, it's not an issue of locking devices in general.
you've just made exactly the point vena was making: "it only prevents the end users from doing things." Using OEM requirements for Windows-certified ARM devices is very similar to the bundling requirements Microsoft was convicted of in US v Microsoft.
Also, what you're suggesting with "The OEM can have two versions of every tablet/phone" places the costs on the OEM, where margins are razor thin. Be fair - put the burden on Microsoft to stop creating artificial barriers to entry.
In addition, Microsoft responded in US v Microsoft (1998) to the requirement to unbundle IE by offering to "offer manufacturers a choice: one version of Windows that was obsolete, or another that did not work properly." Now is it fair to offer OEMs this same choice -- ship with Windows 7 or deliberately break the device so it cannot boot properly? I don't believe that's fair.
Because Windows was deemed a monopoly in the late 1990s. Since Win32 programs won't even run on ARM tablets, I fail to see how what you point out is relevant at all.
>Also, what you're suggesting with "The OEM can have two versions of every tablet/phone" places the costs on the OEM, where margins are razor thin. Be fair - put the burden on Microsoft to stop creating artificial barriers to entry.
There are a zillion tablets out that run Android and some of them can run Ubuntu too. What artificial barriers to entry are you talking about? OEMs needn't even pay a licensing fee unlike with Windows, thus they can be cheaper. Microsoft is already burdened by that.
Actually, they will if they are recompiled to target WindowsARM: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/8254846/does-windows-8-ar...
Also, .NET applications will run on ARM.
So this creates devices sold with Microsoft software that can only run Microsoft software. It does not stop anyone from selling devices with other operating systems, even the same manufacturers with identical hardware. Should Microsoft not be allowed to offer these computers? If consumers don't like it they can vote with their dollars and buy the Android/Ubuntu/WebOS tablet -- they just can't buy the Windows one then delete Windows and install Ubuntu.
"[...] yesterday, Qualcomm announced plans to produce Windows 8 tablets and ultrabook-style laptops built around its ARM-based Snapdragon processors"
Those will be locked out as well.
This is exactly what Cory Doctorow was talking about in his article the other day about "the war on general purpose computing" - (http://boingboing.net/2012/01/10/lockdown.html)
If anything, Microsoft is better in the sense that it offers more share of the app cost to the developers and also doesn't charge tithes like Apple does on content.
No, not really. There's still a long way to go.
And Microsoft's revenue sharing model vs Apple's doesn't have much to do with that.
Now that their OS is open source, too, I'd love to see the rise of HP/Palm in the hacker community. They're not just accepting of hackers, they actively encourage it in all aspects.
These are just value propositions from an also ran.
Apple takes a cut on sales because that's what store's do. If I sell cereal to a supermarket and you walk in and buy a box, the store does not give me all of that money. Why? Because the store worked hard to get that customer to walk in. Similarly Apple worked hard to make ITMS and App Store work, bringing millions of customers to the apps and music. And no one calls the supermarket's cut a tithe either.
Why support MS because they came later, copied the successful innovation and undercut it by a few %? Supporting the company doing the innovating seems like a better path to incentivizing other companies to innovate new products and markets instead of just copying what's successful.
The tithe reference is to the content, not the cut of the cost of an app, which Apple neither hosts nor delivers, but takes a 30% cut of.
Also, why can't your argument extend to ISPs? They have done all the hard work getting the customer, why shouldn't they be able to charge YouTube for allowing them to show ads to their customers?
Microsoft builds the OS and licenses it to a manufacture, they build the device and sell it. At least 3 parties involved.
Microsoft's requirements need to be met to be able to license Windows 8 for tablets. Microsoft is forcing manufacturers to lock down their devices or else they aren't allowed to use Windows 8.
Google licenses the Android source code/platform/name whatever, and a manufacturer builds the devices. The manufacturer chooses to lock down the boot loader.
Google doesn't make any requirements on the manufacturers to lock their devices down.
That is where the difference lies. Microsoft is being bad here because they are forcing something on its manufacturers that its manufacturers may not have wanted to implement.
I don't see why Apple should have to let people install Windows on an iPad, or for that matter even make it easy for people to do so if they pleased. I don't see why manufacturers should have to let people flash whatever firmware they want to their device. But I do see why Microsoft shouldn't be telling manufacturers that the manufacturers customers can't flash their device if they so pleased.
In my opinion, both are bad. No, the manufacturers shouldn't have to make it easy (or make any effort at all) to help consumers install other OSs, but locking up the devices on purpose is no better than what MS is doing.
But they do. Google has many requirements and if you don't meet them, you won't be licensed the Google apps. That's the same thing Microsoft is doing here. You can choose to make a tablet that doesn't meet their requirements, you just can't sell it with Windows if you do so.
Microsoft isn't preventing anyone from making products or selling tablets running other operating systems... just that the ones they sell with Windows can't be re-flashed.
Add to that the fact that Google releases the Android source code. Manufacturers do produce Android derivatives (e.g. Kindle Fire) by removing the Google branding. And HTC just relented by unlocking their bootloaders, providing at least one data point that customers do want the ability to load their own OS.
Must we relearn the lessons from the PC all over again?
He's not saying they do. No one is saying they do. That is the very definition of a straw man argument.
Dan Grossman is saying Google has a host of other compliance requirements. Why does Microsoft compliance requirement X cross some terrible line that Google and Apple requirements W, Y and Z don't?
This requirement negatively affects a rounding error of consumers that will probably be able to circumvent the restriction anyway.
Googles forcing G+ & Gmail apps onto a vast majority of users that don't use those platforms is arguably a bigger consumer problem. But nobody cares and rightfully so. The impact is minimal in both cases.
Beyond the negative effect there's a tangible security gain here that is probably a bigger deal for many more customers then are inconvenienced by the locked bootloader.
Microsoft is not the EFF and has no mandate to be pro-open source. Google's failure to release the Android development branch, roadmap, the honeycomb delay and their compatibility tests aren't anti-open source?
The fact that things are different is not in and of itself a real argument. All you're doing is restating what Microsoft's requirement is and attaching your conclusion ("this crosses the line") but you haven't actually shown this.
"none of the Google requirements do"
Can't use another OS: Sky's falling!
Can't use another location service: Who cares right?
A number of Google requirements are secret so how can we confidently say none of them cross the line?
1) Two wrongs do not make a right.
2) Both are worthy of criticism.
3) What Apple does is off topic anyway. This discussion is about Microsoft.
Locked bootloaders on general purpose computing devices are bad news for consumers and for innovation in general. Just imagine how the PC landscape would have evolved without clones. I'd be more than happy to see government intervention in cases like these.
"Microsoft's true anticompetitive clout was in the rebates it offered to OEMs preventing other operating systems from getting a foothold in the market"
It shouldn't be a PC vs Mac world today. It should be PC, Mac, BeOS, OS/2, Linux, etc.
There are a number of small, niche systems around the world that few people know about. When something gets broad popularity it is natural to see only a few systems get the cake, the cream of the cake and the cherry on it while the others get the crumbs. "He who has more, gets more" if you know the saying.
In the 80s you had a free market situation with personal computers and litterally hundred of brands to choose from. All incompatible. And only a few brands made it through the years, with the IBM PC standard getting the first place.
Fast Market growth favors big players.
The current OS landscape has little to do with the size of the players, and everything to do with back-room deals between Microsoft and OEMs to e.g. prevent OEMs from loading BeOS on their systems.
Beyond all else, you know why BeOS isn't loaded on systems today? Because it didn't run Windows software. You can assert that Microsoft certainly did not help it along with its OEM deals, but BeOS didn't do itself any favors along the way at any point.
Read the first page of this: http://www.justice.gov/atr/cases/exhibits/1584.pdf
The BeOS is bundled with the machine and is already pre-installed
on the hard drive. As shipped from the factory, your FLORA Prius
will NOT boot the BeOS...
I don't think BeOS would have got very far even if there was no deals against it. After all, there was no massive support from publishers to develop for it, and an OS without software remains a small, niche market. Windows was already huge at the time.
Now, I agree there are probably better OSes out there (either Linux distributions or others) but it all boils down to "what is the platform people develop for". Mass acceptance requires your OS to be able to run enterprise applications, modern games, and to run flawlessly (or at least without major issues) on a good range of hardware. It is very difficult to pull this off unless you have a great amount of ressources nowadays.
I thought we were living in a post-PC world? Restricting Microsoft here would unfairly advantage Apple's continuing monopoly of tablets.
Microsoft, however, has the monopolies (plural).
Btw, here are the numbers to prove that the iPad is not a monopoly.
Wouldn't it be great if Windows only had a 65%-70% market share?
>Google doesn't have a monopoly on search,
Maybe you would like to look at a few real world numbers like these ones:
Let me know how easy it is to get enterprise to switch off the Office document formats or off of Windows.
As for tablets, sales do matter. The Kindle Fire sold around 5.5 million units. Android will be a strong player.
How do we know? Well, it's happening right now.
Our reservations about Apple should mirror those about Microsoft. Good design and UX are not excuses to be complacent. I highly suggest watching Cory Doctorow's recent 28c3 talk on "The Coming War on General Computation": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUEvRyemKSg
No evidence, just history. Lots and lots of history.
Kidding aside, there will always be IPhones/Playstations, which need to be jail broken and there will be proper computers. If anything, this UEFI lockdown will make it easier to find appropriate hardware for your Linux box/server, since all that Windows-centric gaming stuff will be sold locked down only.
The Windows 8 hardware certification requirements comprise three documents and more than 1000 pages. They are available here [warning license agreement required]:
* Windows 8 logo compliance still requires UEFI Secure Boot. This won't affect desktops as quickly but laptops come with minimal BIOS options. Managing keys to install another OS will be omitted by many laptop manufacturers.
>For non-ARM systems, Microsoft requires that Custom Mode be enabled
Microsoft is requiring Custom Mode not even be _present_ on some of its Windows 8 platforms. How long until they "let it slide" on the rest?
You may be determined to let Microsoft do whatever they please with the hardware you rightfully purchased. That doesn't mean I have to let them.
A smart OEM would avoid certification, instead focusing on making a product that could run Linux, or Android, or whatever WebOS becomes, instead of getting locked to a sinking ship.
The reason people are drawn to Windows is because their x86 software from the 1990s still works. How many apps are going to work on ARM out of the box?
I'd worry much more about the executive branch.
Can we rehash all the dozen posts about this from months ago when people swore up on down that Microsoft wasn't going to do... well, what the rest of us expect at this point?
This is almost the worst part of it for me. Those people get to play "the voice of reason" at the time, but they don't receive any of the deserved ridicule when their fantasy world doesn't pan out.
Oh, so we are only talking about the proclaimed future of personal computing then? I guess it's perfectly fine then!
No. Anti-consumerism deserves condemnation, no matter how you try to spin it.
I suspect that it will turn out that Microsoft knows that Apple and Android have built a possibly insurmountable lead on ARM and so will be subsidizing the hardware that ships with Windows 8 in order to lower the price to the consumer to try to buy market share. For obvious reasons they would not want people who want an Android tablet to see an Android tablet for, say, $400, and a Windows 8 tablet from the same manufacturer with identical hardware specs for $300 (because of Microsoft's subsidy) that they could buy and then put Android on.
Why is it Microsoft's responsibility to make Linux run on the hardware that runs their software? What is your stance on Nook Tablet, Kindle Fire etc.? Why shouldn't they be able to secure their OS against jailbreaking and malware just like Apple does?
If they're forced to not have restriction by the government, I propose that the government force Apple and other vendors to open up their hardware, so that Windows 8 and Linux can run on them.
>Can we rehash all the dozen posts about this from months ago when people swore up on down that Microsoft wasn't going to do... well, what the rest of us expect at this point?
I believe they were referring to x86 machines, not ARM.
But hey, to address what seems to be your point... Lets have a reality check. Microsoft is a convicted monopolist. So quick to forget...
I disapprove of Android vendors locking their bootloaders as well. However, this is an entirely different landscape. Microsoft's penetration on laptops and netbooks means that they have the ability to block out competing operating systems unless OEMs (that have to negotiate contracts with Microsoft) go out of their way to provide a different model with a differently implemented UEFI. Considering the number of manufacturers selling Linux computers now, that seems unlikely.
Regardless, I even granted that there isn't a business reason for them to be friendly to competing operation systems, it's just disappointing to see them resorting to this. I have to wonder if it's in part because of how far behind they are in terms of phones/tablets.
>I believe they were referring to x86 machines, not ARM.
Does it matter? The conversations that were playing out were discussing Microsoft's intentions wrt to UEFI.
I'd imagine it does matter which architecture was being discussed.
ARM laptops and netbooks and PCs won't run x86 apps, so I fail to see how MS's penetration will allow them to block out competing operating systems.
>Regardless, I even granted that there isn't a business reason for them to be friendly to competing operation systems, it's just disappointing to see them resorting to this. I have to wonder if it's in part because of how far behind they are in terms of phones/tablets.
Their strategy seems to be to subsidize the licensing cost of the OS by selling Metro apps from the Windows Marketplace. This model will get into trouble if the user loads Android on it. Anyway this is the same model that Amazon, B&N and to some extent Apple uses.
The ability to run x86 apps is irrelevant. Full-fledged Linux desktop distributions have been available for ARM desktops, laptops, nettops, etc. for a long time. Microsoft is entering this existing market with a product that anticompetitively excludes Linux from the market by preventing users from upgrading their OS (as has been traditionally available on Microsoft-targeted computing platforms) through the same kind of license agreements with OEMs that got them into trouble with Be.
It is not the responsibility of users and OS vendors to preserve the flawed business model of their competitors. Microsoft's competitors shouldn't be forced out of the operating system market just because Microsoft wants to sell its own licenses below "cost" (whatever that means for something that has virtually no cost to duplicate).
It is very relevant. Can you tell why the EU requires Windows to display a browser selection box on first boot to Europeans, but is okay with iOS totally BANNING the use of non-Safari browser engines?
>Full-fledged Linux desktop distributions have been available for ARM desktops, laptops, nettops, etc. for a long time. Microsoft is entering this existing market with a product that anticompetitively excludes Linux from the market by preventing users from upgrading their OS (as has been traditionally available on Microsoft-targeted computing platforms) through the same kind of license agreements with OEMs that got them into trouble with Be.
Why is it not anti-competitive for Apple to ship their hardware with a completely locked bootloader? Can Microsoft claim they're being anti-competitively blocked for shipping an OS for the iPad? How is it legal for the Kindle Fire and Nook to ship with locked bootloaders?
>It is not the responsibility of users and OS vendors to preserve the flawed business model of their competitors. Microsoft's competitors shouldn't be forced out of the operating system market just because Microsoft wants to sell its own licenses below "cost" (whatever that means for something that has virtually no cost to duplicate).
Similarly, Microsoft should be allowed to sell the software they create on their own terms.
No cost to duplicate doesn't mean there was no cost to create it. Or do you propose that the first copy cost $5 billion and then the rest are freely reproduced and distributed?
Because the restrictions placed on Microsoft were a reaction to several anti-competitive business practices in which MS was effectively forcing OEMs to prop up a Windows+IE monopoly. OEMs were not allowed to remove IE, and as previously noted in US v MS, were often not allowed to install any other browser. OEMs were charged more for Windows licenses were they to offer any machine without Windows as well as mandating OEMs pay fees for each computer sold whether or not it was sold with Windows pre-installed in order to retain their license. This along with market pressure induced OEMs to focus production on Windows-only offerings, creating an anti-competitive environment in the larger, general-use OS market.
To the second point and this...
> Why is it not anti-competitive for Apple to ship their hardware with a completely locked bootloader?
Apple is the OEM. As far as iOS devices are concerned, they own the lot. I presume you didn't intend for them to be included here, but for their x86 devices (iMac, etc), you can install any compatible OS you want.
> How is it legal for the Kindle Fire and Nook to ship with locked bootloaders?
Simply put, Amazon and Barnes & Noble are not in the OS business. They don't stand to gain an unfair advantage from excluding another OS from their device and they are not forcing a third-party business to act on their behalf to support such an advantage. IMHO, Amazon is more likely to find trouble in areas such as their redirection of requests to market.android.com to their own app store though they still let you side-load apps and download them directly through the browser.
I'm not European, so I'm not very well informed on their approach to antitrust issues, but my guess would be that either they just haven't gotten enough complaints about/gotten around to prosecuting Apple, or Apple's lack of a monopoly in their respective market gives them greater leeway.
I could imagine them saying, "It's not the processor that's relevant. It's whether something can be classified as a computer or an appliance." Would you say that a Linux- or BeOS- or OS/2-based PC should be treated differently from the same PC running Windows, just because it can't run "x86" [Windows] apps?
So far the phone/"giant phone" tablet and netbook/tablet PC/desktop markets have been treated differently. With traditional forms of computing, there is a greater expectation of flexibility of the system. Maybe that will change to the point where consumers expect to be able to install their own OS on a smartphone as well, and I for one hope it does.
I agree, so long as those terms don't include explicit or de facto exclusions of their competitors from the market. What we're discussing now is exactly such an exclusion.
I'm fully aware of the separate costs of creation versus distribution. I am a hardware/software startup founder myself. My point is that Microsoft needs to figure out how to make money without anticompetitively excluding others from the market. Their decision to sell anything below their actual costs is simply not my problem as a consumer, nor should it be any government's problem.
Your information is very old. The App Store has approved third-party web browsers for over three year now.
>Why is it not anti-competitive for Apple to ship their hardware with a completely locked bootloader?
It is. Don't confuse "anti-competitive" with "illegal." If you want the DoJ to pursue an anti-trust case against Apple, you're free to push for that. The market realities will make it a hard sell.
Because there is a large market for non-iOS based phones.
The market for non-Windows based laptops is much, much smaller (basically OS X).
What about tablets?
>The market for non-Windows based laptops is much, much smaller (basically OS X).
ARM laptops are way different. For starters, they wont run any programs that run on other laptops.
Q4 2011 tablet numbers: 11.1m iPad/6m Android (including Kindle Fire and Nook)
.NET programs will run fine. Win32 programs can be recompiles with a WinARM target (the Win32 APIs still exist in ARM Windows)
As I noted in my reply, he's mostly wrong about that too.
Unlike ordinary web browsers, Opera Mini fetches all content through a proxy server that reformats web pages into a format more suitable for small screens. A page is compressed, then delivered to the phone in a markup language called OBML (Opera Binary Markup Language).
Browsers like Firefox and Opera Mobile are explicity banned by Apple.
Besides, this issue is much larger. What happens when Windows 9 comes out and is signed with a different set of keys. Obsolescence is now even easier for OEMs and Microsoft to "let" happen.
Motorola and HTC phones/tablets ship with locked bootloaders while leveraging the hard work of F/OSS developers for free. Not to mention the Nook tablet/Kindle Fire which ship with a locked bootloader who get a free pass.
Note that this will be the same set of people who will slag Microsoft for malware getting into the system and will recommend switching away from Windows because it is insecure.
How about forcing Apple to allow users to load alternate OSes like Windows 8 or Android on the iPad?
The law getting involved and being applied arbitrarily or just to MS though is very silly.
As an X Window System developer, I often get confused when people use "X" as a placeholder. I thought, "but X doesn't lock people in...".
When hardware and software are a cohesive unit it's hard to run something generic on the hardware, or run the software on some other hardware. That is not the case for Windows, Linux, and Android, which is why people feel differently about that ecosystem.
That must explain the lack of penetration of Android tablets! (They have no back button either)
AFAIK Android was basically unusable on iOS hardware, using the sleep/wake button in an odd way and other things that do not work well.
Nope. Only volume and on/off. At least that's what the Galaxy Tab has. As you pointed out, new versions of Android allow emulating whatever buttons the device doesn't have on screen. And the newest phones basically don't have any, relying entirely on the screen.
This sounds like the port was botched. Nothing you said explains why it couldn't work. In fact the oppposite: you've already illustrated the button layout is irrelevant.
The thing that people don't like is the fact that Microsoft is saying through their licensing agreements with a manufacturer that they have to lock the boot loader down so that the manufacturers customers (Asus, HTC, Samsung customers) are not allowed to load an alternate OS.
Samsung and Foxconn and a lot of other suppliers make the hardware. Apple does not own the factories.
When I buy laptop, I am buying a computer. Full stop. If the vendor wants to bundle an OS, great, but I expect to be able to change it. It's far more offensive not to be able to run Linux on a mainstream laptop than not to be able to run Windows on an iPad.
Maybe it's time to change your expectations? Why is Microsoft liable for your expectations? Why not only buy laptops that meet your expectations?
>It's far more offensive not to be able to run Linux on a mainstream laptop than not to be able to run Windows on an iPad.
ARM laptops are nowhere close to mainstream. They cannot run any Win32 applications. MS is starting from zero here.
No. Microsoft is starting at one hundred eight billion.
Whereas with Microsoft, the factories are the clients of Microsoft OS's.