Anyone hoping to be able to run a couple of different operating systems on the new range of ARM powered Windows 8 tablet arriving later this year. Might be disappointed to learn that the bootloader options on the ARM Windows 8 tablets will be locked by default, and will come with no unlock switch.
Microsoft explains that it will require any ARM devices running a client version of Windows 8, to ship with a secure boot enabled. The Secure Boot featured on the devices will require signed keys to allow operating systems to boot. Disabling the ability for owners to be able to install multiple operating systems if desired.
Concerns are now raised over the decision for the locked boot loader on ARM devices, which now seems to make it very tricky or near on impossible to be able to allow owners to load other operating systems on to their devices. However other non ARM devices such as PCs will still be able to have their boot loader unlocked for addition operating systems to be installed.
Microsoft responds to the concerns saying:
“There have been some comments about how Microsoft implemented secure boot and unfortunately these seemed to synthesize scenarios that are not the case so we are going to use this post as a chance to further describe how UEFI enables secure boot and the options available to PC manufacturers.
The most important thing to understand is that we are introducing capabilities that provide a no-compromise approach to security to customers that seek this out while at the same time full and complete control over the PC continues to be available. Tony Mangefeste on our Ecosystem team authored this post.”