Microsoft Announces Project Mu: An Open-Source UEFI Creation Tool

cageymaru

Fully [H]
Joined
Apr 10, 2003
Messages
20,785
Microsoft has announced Project Mu, an open-sourced release of the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) that will allow firmware to be kept up-to-date. Project Mu will support Firmware as a Service (FaaS) which is similar to the Microsoft Windows as a Service initiative. This will allow for UEFI and other system firmware to be kept up to date with post launch features. The idea for Project Mu came from work related to the open-source UEFI implementation TianoCore which wasn't optimized to be deployed across multiple product lines.

Project Mu contributes numerous UEFI features targeted at modern Windows based PCs. It also demonstrates a code structure and development process for efficiently building scalable and serviceable firmware. We look forward to engagements with the ecosystem as we continue to evolve and improve Project Mu to our mutual benefit!
 

Skirge01

Weaksauce
Joined
Jul 20, 2004
Messages
111
Up to now, a failed feature update for Windows meant you had to reinstall. Does this mean it is now going to brick your entire machine?

Agreed! I was about to post: Am I the only one afraid that this will result in FORCED firmware updates to those of us being used a guinea pigs for the corporations?
 

dgz

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 15, 2010
Messages
5,838
Love the idea of firmware as a service. I'll take two please!

I should also order a few of those always recording listening "assistants".
 

glutto

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 8, 2003
Messages
396
Will they turn firmware into a monthly micro-transaction cash cow somehow?
 

RanceJustice

Supreme [H]ardness
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Jun 9, 2003
Messages
6,229
I echo the concerns here of what this could mean on implementation, but I can at least appreciate it is being open-sourced. I wonder how Mu will affect Linux and other non-MS OSes. Oftentimes when mainstream hardware/software vendors have messed with the BIOS or UEFI, it was often done in a way that - intentionally or otherwise, affected Linux or other operating systems. For instance, the UEFI "Secure Boot" for awhile meant that some Linux distros would not boot if Secure Boot was turned on! Users could disable it manually if they had the know how and interest, but it was noted that certain larger distros purchased "secure boot viable" keys and whatnot making it no longer necessary. In time the situation improved, but regardless it is something to consider. Will Mu have any benefits for Linux users, compatibility with Linux bootloaders that handle multiple OSes such as GRUB etc? Will it provide any impediments or further encourage hardware manufacturers to support exclusively Windows etc?

The idea of "Firmware as a Service" sends a shiver down my spine. Updating one's firmware is important, but the idea that it should be just seamlessly done so like it was some meager driver doesn't sit right with me given all the things that firmware affects. Worse, I am concerned of the very idea of "firmware as a service" meaning a way to take control out of the users' hands. I suppose we'll have to see what Mu brings and at least its open source, but proceed with caution...
 

Galvin

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 22, 2002
Messages
2,697
Firmware really shouldn't be messed with. Its something you do once for the life of the motherboard. Onlytime I update is to support a new cpu or something. Anything MS touches turns to shit
 
Joined
May 16, 2007
Messages
634
yay soon windows will be updating your ssd firmware and wiping your os, im sure they'll give you plenty of warning before hosing your hardware.
 

DocNo

Gawd
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Apr 23, 2012
Messages
662
The idea of "Firmware as a Service" sends a shiver down my spine. Updating one's firmware is important, but the idea that it should be just seamlessly done so like it was some meager driver doesn't sit right with me given all the things that firmware affects.

Microsoft has zero credibility with updates at this point.

The other story on the front page about Asus and Gigabyte don't instill any confidence in hardware makers as being competent either. Gigabyte even protesting that they aren't a software company - seriously?!? You can't be one without the other. They just admitted they aren't a real hardware company either. Thanks for clearly signaling I would be a damn fool to buy anything from you ever again!
 

Tak Ne

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 28, 2008
Messages
1,233
If its open source theres a chance someone will remove the crapware and release reliable firmware. Then again its possible it'll require TPM or some other rubbish with pre-compiled binaries/libraries.
Plus MS will eventually only allow certain FaaS to boot into WaaS so you can run your walled garden SaaS.
 

Lakados

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 3, 2014
Messages
4,948
As an enterprise customer I kinda welcome this...... 768 machines and growing take a collectively long time to update Bios’s on and even our 5+ year old boxes got Bios releases in November fixing issues which have been a noticeable improvement for those who have received them.

Even if it only happened every 6 months if the service was less than $2000 a year I come out ahead on this, get maybe Kingston, HP, and Dell on-board with this and it would be an easy contract to sign.
 

clockdogg

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Dec 12, 2007
Messages
1,170
FaaScinating. Maybe it could help the non-software, hardware companies bridge the gap to ring 0 driver issues...
 
Joined
Nov 1, 2006
Messages
562
That's like messing around with my car's PCB (= BIOS) when I just put gas (= OS) in my car.

No Thank You.
 

Zulgrib

n00b
Joined
Dec 11, 2018
Messages
31
As an enterprise customer I kinda welcome this...... 768 machines and growing take a collectively long time to update Bios’s [...]
get maybe Kingston, HP, and Dell on-board with this and it would be an easy contract to sign.
Dell is onboard fwupd since long, HP joined recently. It's free and takes a cron or systemd timer.
 
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