*countable infinities only

Adam Williamson awilliam at redhat.com
Mon Jun 18 16:35:51 UTC 2012

On Mon, 2012-06-18 at 11:54 -0400, Jay Sulzberger wrote:

> Just one word before I break off, if I can ;), engagement for today:
> If I understand correctly, Fedora has now formally allowed
> Microsoft to lock Fedora out of many coming ARM devices.

The use of the term 'allowed' implies that we have any kind of standing
to 'allow' or 'disallow' it.

Microsoft has published its certification requirements for ARM client
devices. They don't have any kind of obligation to ask Fedora, Red Hat
or anyone else who isn't actually building ARM client hardware what we
think of those requirements. We are not a party to them.

A couple of concerned Red Hat / Fedora developers - Peter and Matthew -
have stated that they are unhappy that the certification requirements
for Windows ARM client devices don't state that the user should be able
to disable Secure Boot or install their own signing keys, and stated
that because of this, they don't intend at present to pursue the
approach of having Microsoft sign Fedora ARM releases for use on
Microsoft-certified ARM client devices. I don't think we can formally
characterize this as 'Fedora's' position on the issue, as AFAIK it
hasn't come up before any kind of Fedora representative body, but in
practice, I suspect it's highly likely to hold as Fedora policy if that
were to happen.

This is the entirety of the situation with regards to ARM client
devices. I am not sure what you think would constitute us 'disallowing'
Microsoft from making things we don't like part of their certification
requirements. Sending them a strongly-worded letter? Making a complaint
to some body that Microsoft had...done what? 

It seems prima facie the case that this is not monopoly abuse, because
Microsoft does not hold anything resembling a monopoly in the ARM client
device market (if anyone does, Apple does). Remember that when we talk
about Microsoft-certified ARM client devices it is a very long-winded
way of saying 'tablets and tablet/laptop hybrids running Windows RT',
and right now, Microsoft's presence in that space is virtually

It seems unlikely that it can be characterized as anti-competitive
behavior, or one of the many manufacturers who _already_ ship ARM client
devices with locked firmware intended to be inaccessible to the user and
a signed bootloader requirement - including but not limited to Apple,
Samsung, Motorola (Google), and HTC - would have gotten into trouble

So, again, exactly - what is it that you are proposing should be done?
Adam Williamson
Fedora QA Community Monkey
IRC: adamw | Twitter: AdamW_Fedora | identi.ca: adamwfedora

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