For Microsoft, UEFI linked Secure Boot won’t be a problem for Windows 8.
It’s not the clearest answer, but Microsoft wanted to clarify the controversy surrounding Windows 8 as fast as possible. The controversy started when a Red Hat developer put forward his concerns about it being impossible to dual-boot a Windows 8 certified machine with Linux (with UEFI and not BIOS, see our news).
Microsoft hasn’t completely removed the doubts on the subject, with it still being unknown if i twill be possible to have a dual boot Linux machine or not. In a post published on Building Windows 8, Tony Mangefeste from Microsoft preferred to look at the mechanics of Secure Boot, stating that it won’t be a Windows 8 function but part of the UEFI protocol.
The aim is to take advantage of UEFI to be able to provide a secure pre-OS sequence against rootkits and boot kits. He writes that Secure Boot "wont lock out operating systems boot loaders", but a "is a policy that allows firmware to validate the authenticity of components".
The problem is with this policy, as how will OEM’s implement a policy that will benefit from Windows 8 certification, while making it possible to enable or disable the Secure Boot.
Microsoft has assured users that the philosophy is firstly to provide clients with the best experience possible, and to allow them to make decisions on their own. "We are working on our OEM system to be able to provide clients with this flexibility".
Tony Mangefeste writes "The security that UEFI can offer with Secure Boot means that most clients will have their systems protected against boot loader attacks. For enthusiasts that want to run an older operating system, the option is there to allow them to do so", although this doesn’t mention Linux, older operating systems could be other versions of Windows including Seven.
Microsoft will therefore take the decision out of OEM’s hands, leaving people free to choose whether they want to activate Secure Boot or be able to customise their boot sequence.