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Is Microsoft being honest about Windows 8 for ARM?

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Microsoft's minimum hardware requirements for Windows 8 OEM tablet partners is out in the wild. Most of them are fairly routine, representting a reasonable baseline. But there's one particular item which has sparked a lot of discussion and accusations against Microsoft. It's the requirement that tablets with ARM processors not allow the user to disable secure boot. Secure boot is a ...

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#1
IMO, this is more than just creating an Apple-esque walled garden. It's an attempt to quietly gain complete dominance over a market as it transforms. Microsoft is doing exactly what you'd expect of a multibillion dollar corporation -- being greedy and hypocritical.

Microsoft can see that ARM has at least the potential to displace x86 as the platform of choice for general computing. Right along that vein, they are really preaching that ARM tablets "should be more like regular PCs and not just toys". They want people to be able to use their ARM devices as PC replacements.

And that would be great if it were left at that. For the first time, people would be able to run the same, standard Windows on PCs and on tablets. With ARM tablets being just as capable as PCs for many applications, there would be a lot less need for those clunky wastes of space on our desktops. ARM would be in a very good position to replace x86, particularly if they continue to develop more powerful chips. (There's the gaming market to consider.) General computing would take on a smaller form factor and more battery-friendly life than ever before, all without sacrificing much in the way of functionality.

But for Microsoft, that's where the similarities between a PC and ARM device come to a convenient and abrupt end. There's a little problem in ARM paradise: Microsoft snuck in this little rule about Windows 8 ARM devices being forbidden to run unsigned operating systems. (And who knows who will be in control of the signing? Perhaps Microsoft themselves? At best maybe the manufacturers? Certainly not the consumers since they've been banned from disabling this "security feature".) This whole new era of computing just eliminated most of what little ability other operating systems had to compete. After all, most people -- even the tech-savvy -- are not going to be learning about and trying alternative OS's if Microsoft has decreed that their hardware shan't run them.

Feel free to call me paranoid, but I'm avoiding Windows 8 like the plague, and I'm actually rooting for AMD and Intel to out-innovate ARM and keep them from making headway into general computing. Until secure boot gets the boot, Windows on ARM is not something I want to touch with a ten-foot pole.

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#2
Originally posted by nonoitall:
Microsoft can see that ARM has at least the potential to displace x86 as the platform of choice for general computing. Right along that vein, they are really preaching that ARM tablets "should be more like regular PCs and not just toys". They want people to be able to use their ARM devices as PC replacements.
Makes perfect sense to me. But other than a laptop & a PC, I can't see using Windows on another form factor. It's just getting to be too much.

Speaking of which... given Windows track record, Win 98 (good), Millenium (cold sweats, followed by nausia), XP (good), Vista (gave us all the dry heaves), Windows 7 (back in the saddle), now Win 8...

I'm thinking get the blankets & Niquil ready...
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 20 Jan 2012 @ 12:50

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