The secure boot feature has been something in Windows that has either worked or not worked, and it was disabled by OEM’s in Windows 8. With Windows 10, OEM’s won’t have to disable it, and this is giving users and OEM’s questions as Windows 10 rolls out later this year.
The UEFI Secure Boot feature has had people worried, and it is questioned by security professionals, and by those who follow Windows carefully. By disabling it, users could have their systems compatible with other operating systems, but with Windows 10 that could change.
What is Secure Boot?
The main idea behind UEFI Secure Boot is to allow users to install alternative operating systems on their machines. For most users, that isn’t a concern, since Windows will be their main operating system. But, for those who want to install Linux or other operating systems, it could be.
The Secure Boot feature protects against malware that interferes with the boot process, and by enabling it, the firmware checks with the core components, and then matches it up with cryptographic signatures in the operating system. If any of these don’t match up, the system won’t start-up.
Windows 10 and Secure Boot
During the WinHEC Conference in China, Microsoft talked about the secure boot feature, since most of their audience were OEM members and hardware makers. Microsoft stated that the switch for Secure Boot is going to be optional, and hardware for it can offer no way to opt out of the lock down of secure boot.
This creates a blurry area of Windows 10 machines that could come out later this year. It could cause companies to lockout other operating systems on their machines, and keep only Windows 10 on it. It could also open the market to makers who encourage multiple operating systems on Windows 10. It’s not clear, and is a question with Windows 10.
Secure boot is a feature that only affects few users. But, it affects those hardcore users who love computers, and who are looking at Windows 10 soon.