*countable infinities only

Gerald Henriksen ghenriks at gmail.com
Tue Jun 19 19:35:18 UTC 2012

On Tue, 19 Jun 2012 11:15:34 -0700, you wrote:

>On Tue, 2012-06-19 at 12:03 -0400, Jay Sulzberger wrote:
>> Adam, just a short bald claim:
>> In the United States and Europe there is a large body of statute
>> law, regulatory rulings, and court decisions which say that yes,
>> a large powerful company cannot take certain actions to impede
>> competitors.  In particular entering into a compact to make
>> Fedora harder to install on every single x86 home computer sold
>> is not allowed.  Or once was not allowed.  Recently neither
>> regulatory bodies, nor courts, have enforced these old once
>> settled laws and regulations.
>I'm aware of this. So are Red Hat's lawyers, I'm sure. I am inferring
>from the stuff posted by Matthew so far that they believe there is no
>basis for a legal complaint in Microsoft's behaviour in this area. I
>certainly can't see one myself, though of course I am not a lawyer; as
>I've already noted, it's very hard to characterize Microsoft's behaviour
>as 'impeding competitors'. They have done nothing at all to prevent
>anyone else from complying with the Secure Boot specification.

Thinking about it, I would go further and say that even if Secure Boot
could not be disabled, and 3rd parties could not get keys, would not
violate the law.

Microsoft got into trouble for 2 things - including IE as part of
Windows, and their agreements with OEMs that made them exclusively

On the web browser, I think it is safe to say history has sided with
Microsoft.  Every OS or Desktop Environment now comes with its own web
browser, because a device connected to the Internet without a web
browser is useless for most people.

The trickier issue was their OEM agreements, which likely were a
violation of the law, which forbid the OEMs from selling products with
competing products if they wanted to sell Windows.  It is obvious that
these clauses no longer exist, as for example Dell has sometimes sold
machines with Linux.

Requiring Secure Boot for Windows 8 certification thus wouldn't be
anti-competitive, even if it could not be disabled, because Microsoft
is not forbidding anyone from producing and/or selling an x86 (or
otherwise) product without Secure Boot.  In fact, Microsoft's legal
standing is likely strengthened for the time being by the fact that if
Dell for example were to sell a machine at Christmas without Secure
Boot the machine would be able to run Windows 8 (whether Dell could
ship it with Windows 8 installed, or the end user would have to
purchase a copy and install it themselves is unknown and not
relevant), the only definite restriction is that Dell could not market
that machine as Windows 8 ready.

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