Welcome to the future: one without control of your computer

By | January 2, 2012

I was expecting Microsoft to be the first to lock the bootloader on a PC device. After all, they filed a patent on that last year. Well, congradulations, Asus, for beating Microsoft to the dark side!

If you don't understand why locking the bootloader is such a big issue – the bootloader is the first thing that runs when you click the 'on' button on your computer. It finds the operating system (e.g. Windows) and starts it up. If your bootloader is locked, you can't install another OS (such as Linux) even if you wanted to. And that is a very anti-competitive behaviour: it means that the consumer is forced to use the OS that was delivered by the hardware manufacturer.

It's kind of like how Microsoft made Internet Explorer the default in Windows, until an EU commission told them they needed to give users a choice of five browsers during the Windows setup phase: Consumers should be allowed to choose between competing products. And it's also alarming how often high-tech companies are trying to get away with this type of anti-competitive behaviour.

/via +John Blossom

Reshared post from +Derek Ross

ANDROID FANS UNITE!We need your help!

Asus has locked the bootloader of their Transformer Prime. We, the Android Community, need to band together as we banded together a few months back against HTC. We used social media to fight against HTC's decision a few months back. Since then, HTC rescinded on their statement, has unlocked numerous devices back to back, released kernel sources and has even setup a complete opensource developer website.

We the Android Community need your help once again.

The fight is already beginning on Twitter and Facebook. Bring the fight to Google+.

How you can help. Bring the fight to Asus:

Sign the petition: http://goo.gl/monsm
G+ Page: http://goo.gl/Z1OJy
RT on Twitter: http://goo.gl/wymKz
Post on FB: http://goo.gl/zBlbs
XDA Thread: http://goo.gl/7qeGj

Bloggers: Please report on this issue. We need Asus to hear our voices.

#android #asus #transformerprime

16 thoughts on “Welcome to the future: one without control of your computer

  1. André Fachat

    Yeah but think it through. Once all your components are "dongled" together like printer and their cartridges today, you won't be able to do even that. Conjuring up technical solutions and worksrounds are just evasive maneuvers.

  2. Karsten Wegmeyer

    the MS Patent is a beast consisting of OS Activation via Bootsector and Hardwaredongeling.

    I won't buy PCs i can't install a LINUX on. So if i can't turn of this MS Signing-Feature i don't buy the product.

    But as with iOS i fear that there are enough customers out there to compensate that. An evil salesman saying is that "every morning there is a dumb one getting up. It's the job of the salesman to find him and make maximum profit of him".

    When we look at IT and replace "dumb" with "unexperienced user" you can see that the world is full of them and money is lying on the road. You just have to collect it. Thats what MS, Apple and others are right now trying to do.

  3. Sophie Wrobel

    +Kevin Ozbirn Not sure – as far as I can tell, Asus has definitely locked the BIOS. If they've gone further than that, I can't make out from news so far. The Microsoft patent is more evil; it locks the boot sector and OS too.

  4. John Blossom

    It's a little like saying you can buy a particular shirt but only if you wear a particular pair of pants with it. Consumers are getting smarter than that.

  5. Karsten Wegmeyer

    it is time for OpenSource Hardware! Apple showed the Rest how to make money in reducing Communication-Channels ( by using the argument to simplify usage for endusers) and take fees for them ( as iOS does). The rest of the companies is now learning.

    In fact there can be only one rule against that: Don't by locked devices!


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