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Linux On The Microsoft Surface Won't Be Easy

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  • #16
    As Matthew mentions in his post, loading Linux or any other operating system to this first-generation ARM-based Microsoft Surface tablet would likely involve finding a vulnerability within the device's firmware in order to execute arbitrary code.
    So flash the firmware with a replacement, it works for 'untrusted computing' and many androids. Don't we already have Linux based firmware on a wide range of hardwares that run Windows by default? Adapt one.

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    • #17
      Um hello? Microsoft specifically requires that any ARM device with Windows 8 certification, sold with Windows 8 should not allow the user to disable Secure Boot. So yeah, they are responsible for this. Sure, I could just avoid buying MS hardware - but any ARM based device sold with Windows 8 will most likely have the same restriction.

      Sure, a large number of devices already have this restriction, but here's yet another set of devices (not just Surface, but all ARM based tablets sold with Windows 8 - maybe as many as the number of iPads or Android tablets out there) that are being introduced. The problem is the attitude that some people in this thread seem to have - just avoid it. What when all devices are locked down in this way? There's no way to avoid it then. And don't tell me bullshit such as "if someone is determined enough, they'll find a way". That's fucking bullshit. You shouldn't have to scour for a security vulnerability in the firmware and OS kernels, when all you want to do is install software you want to use on a tablet you own.

      Also, it will be very difficult if not impossible for new people to try out a Linux distro (or even FreeBSD for that matter) if they have such a device. Consumers who don't know the technical details of a device will most likely not know the difference between an ARM and x86 based device. They might buy the ARM device if it's low cost, or maybe they have a subsidy through their university (for students). What when such people want to try out a Linux based distro? Not everyone has the money to go buy a new device whenever they feel like it. That device may be all they've got. What when someone is trying to research operating systems? They can't use anything but Windows. And they are stuck with it. They shouldn't have to be.

      So yeah, FUCK YOU Microsoft for forcing Windows upon people because you just don't know how to compete.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by sandy8925 View Post
        (not just Surface, but all ARM based tablets sold with Windows 8 - maybe as many as the number of iPads or Android tablets out there) that are being introduced.
        MS's market share is in the single digits. Apple/Android tablets don't even consider them competition yet, they are so few.

        Maybe in a few years things will be different, but given Microsoft's past record in this market i wouldn't count on it.

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        • #19
          The other side

          WinRT is a renamed Windows phone 8 OS. 8! What about the programs for 1-7? What about the hardware running 1-7? None of those are compatible. They have the worst compatibility record of any tablet and bad ratings with users. So there's little risk of it getting popular. Windows Active Directory integration? Not exactly.

          The only concern is if the Pro tablets (an Intel Atom with a detached keyboard) carry this into x86 land.

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