A little more about the «free» nature of Windows 10
After the amazing statement that the Windows 10 upgrade will be free even to owners of unlicensed copies of Windows 7 and 8, Microsoft have made a bit of clarity regarding this opportunity.
The company said that it does not mean the legalization of all pirated versions of Windows 7 and 8 that operate on millions of computers around the world. Even after upgrading a pirate copy will be treated as a pirate is just an unlicensed version of Windows 7 or 8 user will have a unlicensed version of Windows 10.
The company, however, does not specify whether it will affect the functionality of the operating system (and if so, how) and support options. Probably Microsoft sees this as a chance for users of pirated copies to get acquainted with the features and enhancements in the new Windows 10, so as to convince them to buy the official licensed version of the operating system. Although this is far from the initial impressions that left the announcement that the company almost going to give your new Windows, it’s still a step in the right direction. Undoubtedly, this will significantly increase the chance of interest in Windows 10 as many users as possible.
The problem is that there is one big question the answer to which the company stubbornly kept secret – how much will the new operating system?
With reasonable market positioning and in combination with the possibility of a free upgrade even unauthorized copies, Microsoft can overnight to achieve more significant progress in the fight against piracy, than in all the years of hard constraints and attempts to prosecute the practice.
Meanwhile, news from the conference WinHEC 2015 in China clearly show that the success of Windows 10 the company does not intend to rely on the benevolence of the market. Interesting analysis on Ars Technica brings bad news for all fans of alternative operating systems such as Linux.
As with Windows 8, the tenth version of Windows will support the UEFI Secure Boot. Let me remind you that this is a security measure that protects your computer from various malicious programs that are downloaded to the operating system, and it is extremely difficult to remove them. Secure Boot solves this problem by putting checks each program that requires the loading up of the operating system – including the so-called module bootloader that manages the startup process on any OS.
At the moment, Secure Boot is simply a function of the UEFI (the replacement of legacy BIOS), which can be turned on or off by the user. Usually for all systems it is enabled by default, preventing thereby the installation of previous versions of Windows and alternative operating systems like Linux. But, as mentioned above, the user can disable this option.
Windows 10, however, can dramatically change the situation, as Microsoft intends to introduce an additional constraint for mobile computers operating under its control. To be able to use the new operating system, they should go with default setting for Secure Boot, while allowing to turn it off. This requirement will only apply to mobile PC desktop will continue to be supplied with the possibility of free turn on and turn off Secure Boot in their UEFI.
What this means for the future owners of laptops and hybrid systems of new generation, which will come pre-installed with Windows 10? This means that they will not be able to replace the Microsoft operating system any of the alternative, even if they wish.
Of course, the total effect of such a decision is unlikely to have particularly serious consequences for most ordinary Windows users. Assuming that we are talking about people who deliberately chose a device with pre-installed Windows – chances are that at some point they decide to abandon Windows in order to move towards Linux are minimal.
In addition, it seems that this restriction will be more of a recommendation for the hardware partners of Microsoft, and not mandatory. So we can safely assume that many will choose not to comply with this recommendation, especially considering the fact that not all laptops come with Windows pre-installed.
Providing users the ability to choose what OS to install on your mobile PC is an element of a flexible market strategy of many companies in the fierce competition and ever-shrinking market, and it is unlikely they’ll refuse it.