Microsoft under fire in Europe for locking out Linux

In an interesting series of events, Microsoft is being accused of preventing Windows 8 users from installing Linux or other operating systems. A Spanish advocacy group that represents various open source software, has filed a complaint with the European Union, saying that the Microsoft's method for blocking Linux-based operating systems is "a de facto technological jail."

The feature that blocks such operating systems is Microsoft's UEFI Secure Boot, which is there for security purposes on Windows 8 machines during bootup. However, the open source group, known as Hispalinux (get it?), says that the feature makes "Microsoft's Windows platform less neutral than ever," and that users have to obtain special license keys from Microsoft in order to install non-Windows operating systems.

Microsoft was fined earlier this month for failing to comply with an antitrust agreement that required the company to allow Windows users the opportunity to use any web browser. They were eventually fined a whopping $731 million for the violation, which is pretty stiff fine no matter how you look at it.

There's no say if the EU will fine Microsoft again for this latest complaint, but we're sure that the organization will investigate the situation to see what's up. Hispalinux says that the UEFI Secure Boot feature "is absolutely anti-competitive," and that "it's really bad for the user and for the European software industry."

[via Reuters]