In December, Microsoft apparently conceded to public pressure by quietly updating the Windows 8 logo certification requirements with a mandate that a desktop computer user must be able to control (and disable) the Secure Boot feature on any Windows 8 computer that is not based on ARM technology. This looks like a victory for free software users, as it will allow a person to install GNU/Linux or other free software operating system in place of Windows 8.
But, this is no time for celebration, because Microsoft has also added a treacherous mandate for makers of ARM-based computers — such as a tablets, netbooks, and smartphones — requiring them to build their machines with Restricted Boot technology. Such computers are designed to lock a user into only being able to run Windows 8, absolutely preventing her from being able to install a free software operating system on her computer. Since smartphones and tablets are some of the most commonly used computers, it’s vital that we get straightforward and clear information about this threat out to the public.
Already know what this is about? Then take action now:
- Raise awareness and have fun while putting pressure on Microsoft and computer makers by entering the Restricted Boot Webcomic Contest.
- Sign the statement “Stand up for your freedom to install free software.”
If this is the first you’re hearing about this whole Restricted Boot vs. Secure Boot business, read the full story.
You can support this campaign and the rest of the FSF’s work by joining as a member or making a donation today.
Josh, John, Matt, and Richard
Free Software Foundation
P.S. This is a verbatim copy of the FSF newsletter. I see no need to say it differently.