Should we all be worried by Windows 8?

Graph of typical Operating System placement on...
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It is not so long ago that I wrote here that Microsoft were no longer the enemies of free software. News I have read today makes me wonder if I was worse than premature in that judgement.

Allegedly, Microsoft are proposing to make it more or less impossible to boot your computer with any software other than that which they supply or subsequently authorise, by tightly linking a computer’s BIOS to booting software.

This sort of proposal was first kicked around by MS when they launched their “secure computing initiative” about a decade or so ago – at the time when the number of virus and trojan attacks against their operating systems (which tended to be run by users with root/admin privileges) was big news internationally (I remember one afternoon the whole of the Welsh Assembly’s computer network being taken down by the ‘love bomb’ email virus).

There was a big hoo hah about the proposal then and it went away – but now it is back and is set to be a core part of the forthcoming Windows 8. The signs, so far, are that Microsoft are not taking legitimate concerns about the proposal seriously.