Enterprise IT Watch Blog

Oct 11 2011   3:00PM GMT

IT Community: “Windows 8 who?”

Melanie Yarbrough Profile: MelanieYarbrough

Windows 8’s impending release has caused a bit of a stir especially in the blogging community, but not everyone is as concerned as we originally thought. When asked how they were planning to deal with the effect of the Windows 8 secure boot and Linux clash, community members all but laughed in our faces. Take a look at how the IT community is planning on dealing with this – minor – speed bump in its Linux life.

The virtual work-around

Slack400 says that two can play at Microsoft’s game: “All this means to me is that Windows gets demoted on my primary computer to a virtual machine and Linux becomes the hyper-visor. But seriously, I suspect it’s all noise and us dual-booting admins will have to set a flag in the BIOS to allow the mixed environment to continue.”

While some plan on a little shuffling when it comes to ensuring Windows 8 and Linux play nice, other members don’t even have Windows 8 on their radar. GusHugershoff doesn’t see the point in dishing out the cash for Windows 8 if you’re going to “upgrade it to Linux.” His suggestion? “Get a KVM switch and keep an older Win2K system for the things you just have to use it for. Besides – the more you cram on one computer, the more you are looking for compatibility issues.”

Koohiisan gives “+1 for virtualizing Windows 8 to get around any (real or perceived) secure boot issues,” especially since he uses VirtualBox to run a virtualized Windows XP for any software that absolutely demands Windows on his Linux laptop. He used to dabble in dual-boot, which was “cool for [him] back ‘in the day,'” but he simply doesn’t need it anymore with all of the advancements in virtualization.

Don’t test the waters if no one’s swimming

Chippy088 plays it safe when it comes to Windows operating systems, usually waiting until it is widely used in the local business community before drinking the koolaid.

Linux is becoming more and more used by local small business clients, as the more MS upgrade their OS’ the more expensive the newer hardware becomes to buy. Legacy equipment isn’t an option on most MS software. Linux can become a more common OS if MS continue to price themselves out of the SMB market.

In general, everyone seemed to agree with Petkoa and Ekardris, echoing blogger Eric Hansen’s position on the matter: Serious Linux users won’t really be affected by a little UEFI speed bump.

All part of Microsoft’s grander plan?

DoneThat brought up an interesting take on the whole situation and the general reaction coming from the crowd:

Just an observation…a lot of people here are pointing out they will simply make the Win OS run in a Vbox as a solution.

Maybe the Linux problem is just a by product of Microsoft’s real purpose: push everyone toward virtual environments?

One easy goal: get enough critical mass and then “secure out” VMware! Now that could be a money maker for Microsoft.

The suggestion excited Koohiisan who offered “a pat on the back and props” to Microsoft, if that is indeed their agenda, especially since “[v]irtualization provides excellent DR when done right, for home and work systems. But, such a plot wouldn’t really bury Linux at all since it makes such a great, (and resource-friendly) VM host system, IMO.”

What do you think? Is Microsoft putting its foot down for the greater good of virtualization adoption? Let us know in the comments section or email me directly.

Melanie Yarbrough is the assistant community editor at ITKnowledgeExchange.com. Follow her on Twitter or send her an email at Melanie@ITKnowledgeExchange.com.

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  • Eric Hansen
    It's not so much a speed bump, but Microsoft is basically giving away the fact that they are using UEFI to stop a "threat", without just directly saying so. But, as I said in my post, I dont' see why there's all this fuss when Secure Boot is optional. Although I've read recently that Microsoft is looking to make it mandatory, this is nothing different really than the late 90's anti-trust era. The only difference is that the playing field has drastically changed. I do agree though that both virtual machines, as well as just waiting it out, are both beneficial actions too. For example, look at Vista. Microsoft touted it as being the slayer to everything else out there basically, and also claimed it was the most secure OS they've released. While they lived up to their claim of secure, it also caused quite an amount of outcry from everything because it was TOO secure I'd give it a year after official release before trying it, or even looking at it. If Microsoft continues pushing what they have been, I can sense a lot of changes coming to Windows 8's infrastructure if they don't want to lose out on a lot of money.
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