Linux Group Considers Formal Opposition to Microsoft Over UEFI Scheme

by Sam Dean - Sep. 26, 2011Comments (0)

Last week, in response to the brouhaha over its reported effort to implement a specification called Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) that could make it impossible to run Linux on Windows 8 PCs, Microsoft officials responded with an extensive post that explains exactly what kinds of flexibility UEFI will offer. After I read the post, I concluded that Microsoft is unlikely to pursue any systematic strategy for excluding Linux, but not everyone agreed with me. Now, the Linux community in Australia is letting its concerns be known.

According to ZDNet Australia:

"Members of Linux Australia are looking to petition the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), claiming that Microsoft's behaviour is anti-competitive. They are circulating a form letter addressed to the ACCC in an attempt to press the regulator into action, as well as a step-by-step guide on how to create a new complaint for investigation. Linux Australia president John Ferlito told ZDNet Australia today that the council will be meeting on Thursday night to determine whether it will take up a campaign against Microsoft's secure boot practices."

What Microsoft made very clear in its post was that Windows 8 itself will not preclude running Linux on Windows 8 systems; instead, UEFI will offer the option to set such a security policy to administrators. There are some administrators who may set such policies, just as some of them disallow business users from using certain browser releases. It's clear that Microsoft is not going to pursue any two-fisted stance toward Linux on this front, and it has nothing to gain by doing so. Linux's market share does not threaten Windows, and the trend is toward running multiple operating systems (I run several, don't you?).

In any case, it looks like debate on the UEFI issue is far from over.

Shailesh Patel uses OStatic to support Open Source, ask and answer questions and stay informed. What about you?


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