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Kicking Around Windows 8 Boot

It's been a while since booting has been a big issue, unless you count Baltimore Raven's Billy Cundiff's 32-yard field goal whiff. Maybe it's because we are used to waiting for machines to start (though my five-year-old daughter's XP lapper failed to budge this morning, but more on that later).

Windows 8 booting is controversial because a new security scheme almost demands that Windows, not Linux and certainly not the Mac OS, are first and foremost.

The dustup rose when it was learned that secure boot, if enabled, would disable Linux launches. There is a fix to that. What is still in play is the ability to dual boot Windows and Linux on ARM-driven machines. Here Microsoft is more mum than June Cleaver.

Since ARM units will be mostly tablets, it would be great to avail ourselves of enterprise Microsoft apps and open source consumer stuff. I hope Microsoft comes clean on all this soon, and lets us know that we can mix and match apps like Courtney Love mixes and matches personalities.

How open should Win 8 be? Tell us all by writing to

Posted by Doug Barney on 01/23/2012 at 1:19 PM

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Reader Comments:

Tue, Jan 24, 2012

The following might be of interest here:

"The Software Freedom Law Center offers interesting speculation about why the secure boot requirement is different between the two platforms (x86 and ARM). The group, which advocates for the use of software without any proprietary restrictions, suggested in a blog post that Microsoft would have angered Windows XP or Windows 7 users if it had blocked the use of those OSes on future x86 hardware, whereas there's no previous hardware support legacy to worry about with forthcoming Windows 8 on ARM systems."

Tue, Jan 24, 2012 Tom Pittsburgh

If the extent of secure boot is to boot Hyper-V and then let us choose the OS boot from there, Who Cares on any of them? Few, if anyone, outside of the technical realm will actually use it, and those that do will be able to secureboot right into LINUX, et. al., witout ever seeing Windows. No different then putting on ESXi from VMware first (which is another alternative to create the same effect by the way without letting Hyper-V control everything). For ARM, this scheme would actually INCREASE flexibility as it allows other systems in the VM so you actually CAN boot to other OS's, unlike ANY system out now. This is a bunch of FUD that continues to make it's rounds.

Mon, Jan 23, 2012 Laz UK

Again, baseless scaremongering. Firstly, how comes iOS, Android, and all the other tablet/mobile device OS/s are conveniantly ignored from this criticism. They are locked down far worse than Windows 8 will be - you can always disable SecureBoot to get into an alternate OS. Secondly, if SHOULDN'T MS call for SecureBoot? You want a secure PC - well maybe linux should get into the 21st century and get onboard...

Mon, Jan 23, 2012

I agree with the previous commenter. Dual booting is an issue on Windows desktops but since when with tablets? Microsoft is taking security seriously and should be applauded. Figure the odds I'll ever be able to boot Windows 8 on an iPad and that the fanboy crowd will complain to Apple over this omission.

Mon, Jan 23, 2012 Dan Matloff, Micrtosoft and A+ Professional Inland Empire

Doug, I believe Microsoft and Windows should get with the program of the modern times and unlock their systems for IT professionals at the least. There are tons of good reasons for open systems including dual booting, and so many more.

Mon, Jan 23, 2012

I can't boot an iPad to Windows8, Android or Linux. Without rooting I can't boot my Android to another version of Android and surely not to windows, ios or linux. Why is this an issue, it never was before Microsoft planned to put Windows8 on a tablet. Why do we even care? We never did before.

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