Concerns about Windows Vista implications for Linux/Ubuntu

Karoliina Salminen karoliina.t.salminen at
Sat Dec 23 23:57:28 UTC 2006


You may have read this already and it might be old news, but what do
you think? This is being discussed on EFFI's (Electronic Frontier
Foundation Finland) list currently. I haven't double checked &
verified any of the references of the article and can not know for
sure if it is 100% true, but might worth be checking out if you
haven't done it already:

Particularly concerning detail can be read below:
"Elimination of Open-source Hardware Support"

Also "Denial-of-Service via Driver Revocation"

In other words, the article claims that first of all, to meet the
Vista requirements, hardware vendors must not release open source
drivers and they must keep anything else about specs confidential but
the marketing specifications listed on their web sites for consumers.
And secondly in the case they do release the info of some particular
card or chip type, Microsoft can at any time disable the card (when
next automatical update occurs) which has Linux support or which is
being used in Linux with reverse engineered drivers done for Linux
which essentially removes the card from market which could mean (if
the above analysis is true at all) hard time (even harder than now) to
get any support for any Windows compatible hardware for Linux,
especially if the hardware vendors get scared and stop releasing even
binary drivers for Linux not to speak of yet alone the open source
drivers. I hope the reality doesn't turn out to be this bad.

Anyhow the question is, how is Linux and particularly Ubuntu (which
somewhat prefers open source drivers) going to deal with the driver
issue if the vendors will increasingly be closed and further away from
openness and Linux thanks to the obviously deliberate "Windows-only"
locking implemented by Microsoft?

Best Regards,

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