So is this the end of ‘using Free and Open-source softwares’ days? It pretty much seems like so with Microsoft playing the “secure-boot” card with its upcoming version of Windows OS, Windows 8.
“Secure boot” is a BIOS technology which was added to “secure” computer when booting, stopping it from loading unauthorized Operating Systems which includes systems that have been authorized initially but is modified without being re-approved. Microsoft would require this option to be checked by default for the hardwares that want to use the Windows 8 compatibility logo but doesn’t require a option to turn off the feature.
This might seem a pretty deserving feature by its name, after all security is good, right? But we suspect it’s just a misnomer as Microsoft and hardware manufacturers is probably going to use this feature to stop the user from booting any other systems except Windows including Linux and other Open-source operating systems. As long as the user has the key to choose, it can be called security but when it’s dumped on a user, it’s more of a restriction. After all, a 5 inches thick steel door can be very good for security as long as YOU have the key, otherwise if you are inside that door, then its more like a prison.
So what will be the outcome? With the Open-source and free software developers, often communities can’t afford the influences that the proprietary software giants like Microsoft have on hardware manufacturers. Which mean they won’t be able to convince the hardware manufacturers to include a secret key for the free softwares so that there system can boot also when “secure boot” is on. And it will be the USERS who will be deprived of choices, choices to exercise their right to freedom. Users will have to go through risky and complicated measures to circumvent the restriction.
You can stand up for your freedom, freedom of your choice. Do not buy from the proprietary hardware vendors that comes with this “secure booting” features without the option to turn it off. You can sign this statement made by the Free Software Community to show your support towards free and open-source software and for the sake of your freedom.
Any comments are welcome.