Unlike the up-and-coming Windows 8 PC’s and laptops, it appears the Windows 8 tablet bootloaders will be locked down, iPad style. According to the Software Freedom Law Center, you won’t be able to root, replace, or change the OS in any way. The UEFI secure bootloader system that will come standard on Microsoft tablets has, in the words of the above website, been used “anticompetitively, by colluding with hardware partners to exclude alternative operating systems.”
They also fear that with the lack of legacy software support for x86 apps that MS has jumped on the opportunity to create an exclusive, locked-down system.
In my opinion, this is sort of overblown. Upon researching the site, I have seen nothing about them jumping on Apple for the iPad, iPod, or iPhone, all of which are locked systems (and market leaders). I don’t see anything about them talking about Android manufacturers who attempt to lock down their systems (Galaxy Tab 10.1), and to put it simply MS isn’t in a position in the tablet market to dictate anything, especially with an OS that hasn’t been released on a set of devices that won’t even see the light of day until Q3/Q4 2012.