Windows 10 Blocking Off SteamOS & Other OSes With New Secure Boot Rules?

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If you have a fondness for running older Windows OS and alternatives like Linux, be warned: It appears that some Windows PCs are set to run Windows 10 and nothing else. (Image via

The Redmond-based tech giant may be allowing device manufacturers have the ability to lock down a certain portion of the Windows 10 software that will basically result to new machines running the OS to be unable to boot multiple OSes such as SteamOS or Linux.

Running parallel OS not possible?

It seems that Microsoft is keen on not letting other OSes run alongside its upcoming Windows 10 operating system, as suggested by a handful of slides from a presentation shown off by Microsoft during the recent WinHEC conference in China.

This piece of disappointing news is first spotted by Ars Technica and reports that the ?precise final specs are not available yet, so all this is somewhat subject to change, but right now, Microsoft says that the switch to allow Secure Boot to be turned off is now optional. Hardware can be Designed for Windows 10 and can offer no way to opt out of the Secure Boot lock down.?

New Secure Boot rules

The feature we?re talking about here is called Secure Boot and it?s actually designed to keep your computing experience safe. It?s a high level security feature that protects computers from malware that may wreak havoc with their booting process. To do this, the feature utilizes cryptographic signatures the firmware needs to confirm before it allows the machine to boot.

In simpler terms, Secure Boot functions by allowing the installed OS to be locked to the hardware itself. If any other OS tries to interfere, the system simply won?t start up. Now, Microsoft?s new rule apparently states that OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) are ordered to make Secure Boot a mandatory feature in Windows 10.

Microsoft may lock out other types of OS with new Windows 10 requirement. (Image via Microsoft)

Microsoft may lock out other types of OS with new Windows 10 requirement. (Image via Microsoft)

Real world implications

On paper, this may be a desirable feature but it can be an issue if you?re fond of running alternative operating systems. If you use your ?PC for playing games, it?s very likely that you won?t be able to buy a Steam Machine that?s able to dual boot to Windows 10, or run SteamOS on a Windows 10 PC. With no Secure Boot off switch, it can also become a pressing concern for users who would want to downgrade their new Windows 10 laptops or desktop into an older version or even Linux or Ubuntu.

Well, if this is true then we can?t blame Microsoft for trying to be exclusive and competitive. The company may just be trying to leverage their wide reach to gain higher profits, much like what Apples has been doing for years. But do you really think this action is fair? If implemented, would it make you less likely to upgrade to Windows 10 or buy a Steam Machine? Let us know in the comments section below.



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