Monday, March 23, 2015

Windows 10 PCs may prevent you from installing other OS's

Windows 10 is shaping up to be the best Windows ever, but it seems we might have a steep price to pay for that: losing the freedom to install a different operating system of our choosing thanks to "Secure Boot".

The Secure Boot option is a security measure implemented to prevent potential malicious code from creeping up on your machine by messing with the boot files. It sounds good... until you notice it will also prevent you from booting other operating systems that don't have access to the cryptographic validation keys.

This option has been available for a while, but with Windows 8 Microsoft made it mandatory for all Windows certified computer to be able to disable this option - but that's no longer the case with Windows 10.

For Windows 10 machines, it will be up to the manufacturers to decide whether to allow turning off Secure Boot or not. Which, as we know, is something that sooner or later result in one of them removing that option and saying it's for security reasons, for all other to follow - making it a lot harder for anyone wanting to tinker with their computers or simply install an alternative OS.

This will make desktop and laptop computers more akin to mobile devices, where we already find many devices with locked bootloaders - and just as it happened there, it will undoubtedly lead to the creation of tools to unlock our computers and give us the choice to do with it as we please. For now, there's still hope most manufacturers will still leave this up to the end user... but we'll have to wait and see how that pans out.

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