ARM Devices Running Windows 8 Will Have Boot Options Locked Down

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If you're hankering after a Windows 8 tablet but thought you might also run Android, think again: Microsoft is planning to lock down the boot options on all ARM devices running its new OS.

Computer World reports that Microsoft will prevent ARM system builders from disabling a new Windows 8 feature called Secure Boot. The feature is designed to prevent bootloader attacks, but on most PCs, OEM manufacturers are expected to allow users to disable the feature so they can install alternative operating systems.


No such flexibility for ARM devices, though, as Microsoft won't allow anybody to disable Secure Boot on tablets powered by the UK-designed processors. In a way, we're used to mobile devices featuring this kind of security: Windows Phone and iOS devices are always sold locked down, for instance.

But boundaries blur when it comes to tablet devices. This decision means that people will be unable to install Android, or even the soon-to-launch tablet version of Ubuntu, on their shiny new portable Windows 8 devices. Expect some complaints, Microsoft. [Computer World via The Verge]