[Linux-aus] Stand up for Linux. Stop Microsoft killing Desktop Linux.

Adam Nielsen a.nielsen at shikadi.net
Wed Sep 28 19:43:10 EST 2011

> We're talking about the same hardware manufacturers who take BIOS
> software and can't even bother to get the DMI information to state the
> make and model. As far as they are concerned, once it boots the shipping
> OS their work is done.

To be fair, faulty DMI information rarely (ever?) prevents booting outright. 
And it can be worked around in software, by someone else.  So there's not 
really much incentive to get it right.

> The BIOS software authors aren't much better. I doubt you'd see the
> ability to add your own signing keys to be a universal feature. And even
> if it was, some manufacturers would turn that off to reduce support
> costs.

I'm sure this will happen with some manufacturers, but I doubt the large ones 
will head down that path.  Since I build my PCs from parts I would be very 
surprised if I couldn't find a Linux-friendly motherboard manufacturer.  Not 
to mention that I might be a Linux user at heart, but I'm also responsible for 
procurement of Windows machines in my day job.  I won't be buying any from a 
manufacturer who won't let me run Linux on them, that's for sure.  Maybe there 
are so few Linux IT people around that this won't impact anyone's bottom line, 
but at least we can try...if it does get that far.

> It has always struck me that the enforcement of signed operating systems
> is a textbook example of third-line forcing.  That is, a purchase from
> Manufacturer A forcing you to only purchase from Manufacturer B. The
> Trade Practices Act has words to say about that, and there's a stack of
> ACCC enforcement action in the car parts industry, so this isn't a new
> issue to them.

You have a good point - with all these complaints to the ACCC, has anyone 
addressed Microsoft's response[1] saying that they're not preventing other 
OSes from being used?  I would think the ACCC might drop the whole issue if 
they took the MS reply at face value saying it's a storm in a teacup.



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