Windows 8 PC makers should tell users how to kill UEFI, Linux group demands

Summary:Hispalinux has released the details of its complaint to the EC over Windows 8's UEFO Secure Boot, and says getting rid of it is just too complex for the average user.

Hispalinux, a Spanish Linux group pushing for a European Commission probe into Microsoft's Windows 8 Secure Boot requirements, wants all Windows 8 PC makers to outline deactivation options for the security measure.

Hispalinux, which represents 8,000 Linux users, first filed a complaint with Europe's competition commission late last month .

According to the complaint seen by ZDNet, it has demanded a preliminary injunction that forces Microsoft to remove all wording that requires hardware makers to implement UEFI Secure Boot to gain 'Windows 8 Hardware Certification'. The group accuses Microsoft of using this certification to maintain its monopoly and stifling Linux.

The European Union's competition commissioner Joaquín Almunia in January said that it appeared that Windows 8 OEMs can give end users the option to disable UEFI Secure Boot.

In an amended complaint which adds to the original, Hispalinux notes that the Microsoft certification requires manufacturers to allow users to "alter" the UEFI key and enable the deactivation of Secure Boot. However, it says the means to do so currently exceed the competence of the average user.

Hispalinux wants Europe to impose a requirement on a list of 10 Windows 8 PC manufacturers, including HP, Lenovo and Dell, to spell out for consumers exactly how to deactivate UEFI and specify their rights. Other PC manufacturers on the list include Asus, Samsung, Toshiba, Acer, Sony, Packard Bell and Medion.

It also wants the vendors to determine how many certified Windows 8 devices it has sold within Europe and for them to define how Secure Boot has been implemented.

Topics: Linux, EU, Microsoft


Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, s... Full Bio

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