Microsoft has announced that all Windows 8 ARM PCs, tablets and other devices will be locked to the original operating system.

Microsoft recently amended its requirements for ARM Windows 8 System Builders. Unlike Windows 8 for Intel-compatible (x86 & x64) machines, the ARM version of Windows 8 will not be sold to the public. To purchase an ARM version of Windows 8, the consumer will have to purchase a device with it pre-loaded.

This can be done by locking the secure boot option in the system’s UEFI. This technology forces manufacturers to instruct devices to boot code certified by the manufacturer for the device.

When Microsoft published The Certification Requirements for Windows 8, it was evident that the company wanted to use the secure boot to lock Linux out of such hardware, thus creating a Windows only hardware. ARM's entry in the PC world is a major threat to Microsoft's monopoly. Linux-based operating systems and Android already run on ARM-based devices.

Apple does lock its bootloader on ARM devices, prohibiting users from selecting another operating system.