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Windows 8 ARM devices might not allow running other platforms

Posted: , by Victor H.

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Windows 8 ARM devices might not allow running other platforms
Looking forward to the onslaught of Windows 8 devices? You’re not alone,  but if the scary possibility of Intel and Microsoft forcing Windows 8 tablet prices stubbornly at above $599, here’s one more concern - the Secure Boot option on ARM-based devices running on Microsoft’s platfrom seems to be locked.

What this means essentially is that the boot option on Windows 8 devices will be locked. This will effectively prevent ARM machines from bootloader attacks and this in turn means you won’t be able to hack Android onto a Windows 8 gadget. Nor that Ubuntu Linux, expected to come on mobile devices, and not even earlier Windows version. Previously, Microsoft promised that OEMs would have the option to allow disabling Secure Boot, but it seems that won’t apply to ARM machines and only to x86-based devices.

Nothing new in the iOS/Windows locked models, you might say, but this would still be a big disappointment for many users. It’s interesting to see Microsoft bring some clarity on if and why it’s imposing the Secure Boot restrictions for ARM machines.


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posted on 16 Jan 2012, 08:15 2

1. bigdawg23 (Posts: 388; Member since: 25 May 2011)


This will not help the sales if that is the case. People will revolt against this. Many folks are already pulling away from companies like HTC and Motorola because of Locked Boot-loader for Android.

I am not for government involvement, but given the senate was unhappy about locked boot-loaders, this will get them to look real hard again. People should be allowed the freedom to run what they want on a tablet, pc or phone.

posted on 16 Jan 2012, 09:17 2

2. eaxvac (Posts: 328; Member since: 15 Jan 2012)


I totally agree Microsoft's action. Whine all you can GNU/Linux/Android fgts.

posted on 16 Jan 2012, 09:28 1

3. Mozarrt (Posts: 295; Member since: 08 Oct 2011)


Why would you want an inferior system on your Windows 8 tablet?

posted on 16 Jan 2012, 09:30 2

4. MickDM (Posts: 63; Member since: 29 Nov 2011)


love the freudian "apple" slip in the last sentence of the 2nd paragraph...i guess some folks REALLY don't like ms/windows/intel/verizon...i don't recall all the whining/pointing fingers over the ios/apple lockdowns...ijs ;)

posted on 16 Jan 2012, 09:45 3

5. remixfa (Posts: 14049; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


"but it seems that won’t apple to ARM machines and only to x86-based devices."

Victor, were you hungry when you wrote this? :)

posted on 16 Jan 2012, 09:49 3

6. remixfa (Posts: 14049; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


Any piece of software that can be done.. can be undone. Moto and HTC both tried the "unbreakable" bootloaders and they all got broken. This is just a big "i dare you" to the mod community.

Also, this only states ARM devices. Does that mean x86 devices wont have such security? Linux is already x86 compatible (duh) and Android is becoming more x86 compliant by the day.

I wouldnt buy an ARM windows8 tablet. half of the interest is in the windows7 desktop compatibility which will only be with the x86 versions of WP8. If im gonna drop that much money on the tablet it better be a desktop class experience.

posted on 16 Jan 2012, 11:31

7. Evil_SaNz (Posts: 258; Member since: 20 Oct 2011)


So which could be the best option in the near future? x86 tablet for full desktop compatibility or ARM for battery life? If ARM Windows8 will not be windows 7 desktop compatible it's gonna be a fiasco at least from my poor point of view...I was dreaming about a Transformer Prime with dual boot or with Windows 8 running android as a VM: Asus probably would give tablet drivers to Microsoft, nVidia aswell.

Hopefully things will change =/

posted on 17 Jan 2012, 07:19

8. remixfa (Posts: 14049; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


if i got one, id go with the x86 version. I already have a tablet-toy. they are all tablet toys right now. If i got another, it would be because it was desktop compatible. If the WP8 tablet isnt desktop compatible, it doesnt do anything new/different than my android tablet other than look different.
The only reason for intel to bring x86 into this space is for high end tablets that are DT compatible. They dont belong in phones right now.

posted on 17 Jan 2012, 19:14

9. 7thspaceman (Posts: 1119; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)


Unless there is a good technical reason for a boot lock on Arms CPU windows 8
computers Microsoft is going to get a nasty reminder that Big brother Uncle Sam
wants to know why arms computers cannot be set for dual boot and intel devices
can and The USA government may make them have secure boot as an oiption not a
unshakable function of windows 8 on Arms CPU devices I have a funny feeling that
Microsoft will be in federal court over this

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