Little known fact to non-geeks out there. Microsoft, as part of their corporate plan (presumably written somewhere dark and dank, like an office cubicle) to maintain hegemony over the computing world, have “encouraged” the implementation of Secure Boot which prevents the loading of any other operating system other than Windows 8 on devices certified to run Windows 8.
Microsoft has announced that if computer makers wish to distribute machines with the Windows 8 compatibility logo, they will have to implement a measure called “Secure Boot.” However, it is currently up for grabs whether this technology will live up to its name, or will instead earn the name Restricted Boot.
When done correctly, “Secure Boot” is designed to protect against malware by preventing computers from loading unauthorized binary programs when booting. In practice, this means that computers implementing it won’t boot unauthorized operating systems — including initially authorized systems that have been modified without being re-approved.
This could be a feature deserving of the name, as long as the user is able to authorize the programs she wants to use, so she can run free software written and modified by herself or people she trusts. However, we are concerned that Microsoft and hardware manufacturers will implement these boot restrictions in a way that will prevent users from booting anything other than Windows. In this case, we are better off calling the technology Restricted Boot, since such a requirement would be a disastrous restriction on computer users and not a security feature at all.
Granted. You probably won’t feel the hurt from this measure unless you are planning on installing another OS on your machine, like Linux or Android (on a tablet), but this measure will be harmful overall to those who do want or do need to install some other operating system on their computers.
In this case I will pull the privilege hammer and say this time the victim will be me, and many others in the open source community. We want the right to truly own and use the devices we have in our possession.
By being a Windows user, you have the privilege of not giving a shit about users of other operating systems because this is a problem you will not feel.
I will give one other concrete example of how Secure Boot will hurt society overall — education. Linux distros like Edubuntu have been used to refurbish old computers to be given to schools or underprivileged children worldwide. What hope do they have in giving new life to old devices should this completely unethical implementation of a blatant corporate move to murder the competition be allowed?
If you have been convinced by my justifications for why you should oppose Secure Boot, sign this petition from the Free Software Foundation.