Microsoft faces European open software probe

Windows 8 Start screen The group argues that Windows 8 prevents users downloading alternative operating systems

Related Stories

A Spanish group of open-source users has accused Microsoft of making it difficult for users of Windows 8 to install alternatives.

The group of 8,000 Linux developers has filed a complaint to the European Commission about a mechanism that locks out other operating systems.

Microsoft said the mechanism was a security feature.

Earlier this month the commission fined the firm 561m euros (£484m) for failing to offer users a choice of web browser.

The Hispalinux group told Reuters The Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) Secure Boot in Windows 8 was "a de facto technological jail for computer booting systems... making Microsoft's Windows platform less neutral than ever".

Its 14-page complaint said users needed to request digital keys from Microsoft to install another operating system.

Microsoft said in a statement: "UEFI is an industry standard aimed at improving computer security and the approach has been public for some time.

"We're happy to answer any additional questions, but we are confident our approach complies with the law and helps keep customers safe."

Richard Edwards, a principal analyst at research firm Ovum, said: "I can't see too many purchasers of Windows 8 calling foul over this.

"Microsoft will argue that the reason the technology has been developed is to provide enhanced security."

In January, when the issue was raised by a Euro-MP, European Competition Commissioner Joaquin Alumnia said the commission had no evidence the Windows 8 security requirements violated EU competition rules.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Technology stories


Features & Analysis

  • Stained glass of man with swordFrance 1 England 0

    The most important battle you have probably never heard of

  • Golden retriever10 things

    Dogs get jealous, and nine more nuggets from the week's news

  • Pro-Israel demonstrators shout slogans while protesting in Berlin - 25 July 2014Holocaust guilt

    Gaza conflict leaves Germans confused over who to support

  • The emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-SabahFreedoms fear

    Growing concern for rights as Kuwait revokes citizenships

BBC Future


The five greatest space hacks

We present the ultimate in DIY fixes


  • Leader of Hamas Khaled MeshaalHARDtalk Watch

    BBC exclusive: Hamas leader on the eagerness to end bloodshed in Gaza

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.