Startup Options, TV Tuner, Remote Control & Receiver in Windows 8 Media Center Retires; Secure Boot for Ubuntu, Red Hat, Fedora

With the July almost upon us, Windows 8 RTM nearing, now according to a recently leaked information, "Windows 8 RTM build will be 8500.0.120623-1707," reports Wzor. However, to this Win8China's claim that the final build will be in the 8600 class.The source also says, that Microsoft will be making the announcement late July (sometime between […]

Windows 8 RTM Build 8500.0.120623-1707

With the July almost upon us, Windows 8 RTM nearing, now according to a recently leaked information, "Windows 8 RTM build will be 8500.0.120623-1707," reports Wzor. However, to this Win8China's claim that the final build will be in the 8600 class.

The source also says, that Microsoft will be making the announcement late July (sometime between the 17-20). This information lines up to previously released information that says Microsoft will finish the Windows 8 RTM build in July, which bodes well for the speculated October release date.

Also, note that Microsoft is holding two events during July: First, there is the MGX, which runs from July 17-20, and second, on the July 19th, Microsoft has announced of holding its earnings call.

According to the source, the RTM will happen at the MGX.

Windows 8 Retires Start Options, TV Tunner, Remote Control and Receiver features

Following their earlier announcement about Windows Media Center, stating that DVD playback would be included as part of the Media Center add-on package, and not as an option for Windows 8.

Now, in the Release Preview, Microsoft have disabled the ability to boot directly to Windows Media Center -- a feature required for any proper HTPC build. In a recent reply to a question regarding "removed options for always keeping Windows Media Center on top and booting up directly from Media Center in Windows 8," Microsoft's Nico T, said by updating the FAQ that option is not available, "Due to new Windows OS requirements and behaviors," these two features have been removed from Media Center in Windows 8. (via)

Also, according to the Windows Logo Program newsletter, Microsoft has abandone the TV Tuner and Remote Controls tests in the updated Windows Hardware Certification Kit.

Here is a Microsoft statement (via):

Update on the TV Tuner and WMC Remote Control and Receiver Product Categories

The TV Tuner and Windows Media Center Remote Control and Receiver categories and tests are not included with Windows Hardware Certification Kit (HCK) because we are retiring these programs. You can use HCK to obtain a Windows 8 signed driver for these devices by passing the applicable tests. For example, if the device connects via USB, then the USB tests would appear. The tests that appear depend on the features that are detected, but there are no Windows Media Center or TV tuner tests in HCK. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) can use Windows 8 signed drivers as part of their pre-installation image.

Partners can still make submissions for the Windows 7 Logo Program in these categories, by using Windows Logo Kit version 1.6.

Finally, following the support from Linus Torvalds, to Red Hat revealing, how the company will allow its Linux operating systems Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora builds to run on a Windows 8 x86-based PC with Microsoft's Secure Boot system.

Red Hat said, "Microsoft will provide keys for Windows and Red Hat will provide keys for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora. Similarly other distributions can participate at a nominal cost of $99 USD - allowing them to register their own keys for distribution to system firmware vendors."

Now, another company, Canonical, announced support for dual-booting its Ubuntu Linux OS with Windows 8. Canonical has published a set of Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) requirements for PC makers, reports PCWorld.

In a post, Steve Langasek stated, "... we've generated an Ubuntu signing key for use with UEFI. The private half of this key will be stored securely on our Launchpad infrastructure, which will be responsible for signing boot loader images and distributing them in the Ubuntu archive."

Unlike Red Hat, Canonical won't offer a signing service for Ubuntu Linux -- Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth stated, "We've been working to provide an alternative to the Microsoft key, so that the entire free software ecosystem is not dependent on Microsoft's goodwill for access to modern PC hardware."

Shuttleworth concludes the post saying, "Secure Boot retains flaws in its design that will ultimately mandate that Microsoft's key is on every PC (because of core UEFI driver signing). That, and the inability of Secure Boot to support multiple signatures on critical elements means that options are limited but we continue to seek a better result."