Ed Bott of ZDNet recently talked to two of the largest PC makers in the industry about the secure boot issue with Windows 8 and was assured that the final choice would be up to the user.
Users Will Have The Final Say About Booting Other OS: Windows 8 PC Makers
Recently there has been a lot of unrest in the Linux community about the secure boot feature in Windows 8. The feature, as we have reported earlier, makes sure that the OS cannot be corrupted by malware at the boot level. This feature uses a kind of digital signature to verify that the OS is still authentic and has not been tampered with.
Now the problem is that Linux distributions are very open and collaborative in nature. Assigning signatures would be a huge problem because it is an open system, not a closed one. This has scared the Linux user and developer community that Microsoft intends to lock users in to its own OS and effectively ban Linux.
However, these fears are mostly unfounded because the secure boot option will always be that — an option. The BIOS/UEFI area will always be accessible to the user where this option can be turned off to allow other OS’ like Linux to boot.
ZDNet’s Ed Bott talked to two of the largest PC makers in the world — Dell and HP. Both of them had similar things to say — there are no plans of locking the user in to using only Windows 8 . It is true that Microsoft wants the feature to be turned on by default but both Dell and HP machines will have the option for turning off secure boot.
So at the end of the day if a user wants to boot Linux in to his system by installing GRUB, all he has to do is turn off secure boot. Windows 8 will probably not boot in that case but there’s no way the hardware will be locked in to one single OS. Also, third-party coders will definitely come up with a way to dual-boot Windows 8 with other un-signed OS’ once the actual release happens.