Spanish Linux group files antitrust complaint against Microsoft


An open source software users’ association in Spain called Hispalinux has filed an anti trust complaint against Microsoft with the Commission’s Madrid office on Tuesday according to Reuters. The Hispalinux is a community of 8,000 members which is very active in the promotion of open source software against the closed source and extremely business minded products from Microsoft.

The main reason for this complaint, though, seems to be the new type of boot included in the Windows 8 computers, which is called the Universal Extensible Firmware Interface, UEFI, Secure boot. With this new technology, an operating system needs to be digital signed before the software allows them to boot on a computer, and there are many such unsigned operating systems, including Linux.

So any Linux based operating system would just not boot on a Windows 8 computer. If you have tried this without any workarounds, you would know about the issue. But as I mentioned, there are workarounds for users interested in dual booting Windows 8 with a Linux based operating system, and there are a great number of such people, including me.

And Microsoft has this policy, or rule, in which every Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) will have to ship their laptops or computers with Secure Boot enabled by default if they want the Windows 8 Compatibility Certification, which is very important. “This is absolutely anti-competitive,” Hispalinux head José Maria Lancho told Reuters. “It’s really bad for the user and for the European software industry.”

The group says that this is not the UEFI is not a technical achievement by the Redmond based software giant, but a technical barrier to fair play. José Maria Lancho also says in a long Spanish blog post that Windows is far more vulnerable to viruses and malwares compared to Linux, and I can agree with this, based on years of personal experience.

Anyway, now we have to see how the Redmond based Microsoft replies to this.

Source: The Register UK