[ubuntu-uk] Heads up: Fedora pays Microsoft

Alan Bell alan.bell at libertus.co.uk
Fri Jun 1 09:49:04 UTC 2012

it will eventually affect everything on a new motherboard, including 
bare bones computers, system76 computers, the lot.
Ubuntu can either also go with Microsoft as the gatekeeper and pay the 
$99 (which is trivial and in any event goes to verisign (which Mark 
Shuttleworth may or may not have an opinion about)) and/or get an Ubuntu 
(or Canonical) key on pre-installed systems (probably alongside a 
Microsoft key).
Theoretically someone other than Microsoft could set up all the signing 
infrastructure and security (not cheap if you do it properly, worse than 
useless if you don't do it properly) and then do deals with every single 
OEM to get the signing key distributed. This isn't going to happen. The 
FSF or OSI or the Linux Foundation are arguably neutral enough, but lack 
resources, any one distro would be problematic. A body such as the EU or 
ISO or W3C or Apache Foundation would be interesting, but it isn't going 
to happen. Microsoft with their market dominant position is the only 
organisation in a position to be the gatekeeper to the market. 
Personally I think they should be forced to spin out the signing portal 
and put it in a foundation and change the key signing cost so that it is 
self funding and the key revocation power isn't in Microsoft's hands. I 
suspect they will be very very keen to be seen as a well behaved ethical 
player to avoid this happening.

For ARM, it becomes even more locked down, if you get an ARM device with 
a pre-loaded Microsoft key it is bricked by design, there is no way to 
put better software on it.


On 01/06/12 09:16, surfer wrote:
> Does this merely concern HP and Dell machines or will it affect my cuts
> price bare bones machines I order from Novatech?
> Patrick Mulvey

Libertus Solutions http://libertus.co.uk

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