Answer given by Mr Almunia on behalf of the Commission
The Commission is aware of the Microsoft Windows 8 security requirements. According to these requirements, in order to conform to the Windows 8 certification programme, computer manufacturers (‘OEMs’) have to use Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (‘UEFI’) secure boot. The UEFI standard is developed and managed by the UEFI Forum. Microsoft is only one member of the UEFI forum, among other chipset, firmware and hardware manufacturers. The UEFI forum is open to any individual or company to join free of cost.
The Commission is monitoring the implementation of the Microsoft Windows 8 security requirements. The Commission is however currently not in possession of evidence suggesting that the Windows 8 security requirements would result in practices in violation of EU competition rules as laid down in Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. In particular, on the basis of the information currently available to the Commission it appears that the OEMs are required to give end users the option to disable the UEFI secure boot.
The Commission will continue to monitor market developments so as to ensure that competition and a level playing field are preserved amongst all market players.