Re: Protecting their investment
"What is so hypothetical about this? Do you think it is wrong for an operating system manufacturer to hold sway over a hardware manufacturer?"
Well, the question you ask is hypothetical when it comes to PCs because the devices are not locked to a particular OS manufacturer and MS require any manufacturer to ensure that they are not under threat of withholding Win8 certification from them. So that is what is hypothetical.
"Why would Microsoft subsidise the cost of a netbook? What is in it for them? Do you think it is coincidence that Toshiba wouldn't sell me an NB200 without an OS? I'll tell you this .. that I personally can think of no other reason that an OS manufacturer would put money behind the sale of hardware unless it was for the reason of keeping competitors off that platform."
Again, I point out that this has nothing to do with Secure Boot, that neither the NB200 supports it (it's not even a UEFI device) nor the OS (XP or 7) can use it. Do I think it's coincidence that it's only sold with Windows on it? No of course not - marketing decisions don't just happen by coincidence. I imagine it's mainly because, as Asus found, the market for PCs delivered with Linux on them was so small to not really be worth the extra support and bureacracy and that they also got hassle from people returning them because the buyers were ignorant that PC does not mean Windows. And this is the case for nearly all mainstream sold PCs, not just this one that you say MS subsidized. I also have to ask what you actually mean by MS subsidised the cost of the laptop. Taken literally, it seems to imply that money was flowing from MS to Toshiba, which seems unlikely. Should I read you as saying MS charged Toshiba less? That is quite common - large sellers always negotiate their own deals and these are often quite closely guarded secrets, so I want to know what the terms are that you say MS made Toshiba not sell blank devices.
"I have no proof, but that is my personal opinion."
It's possible. But as I've shown, there are also other explanations even though you stated you couldn't think of any. So we don't know if it's really the case or not, it's just hypothetical and as it's hypothetical it may not be appropriate for you to get as angry about it as you don't know whether it's the case or not.
Most of the rest of your post is just general comments against Microsoft and I don't know why you're directing them at me as I was talking about Secure Boot. I am not Microsoft. I'm just someone who understands how Secure Boot actually works. If you're going to reply to my post about Secure Boot, you should be addressing Secure Boot, not just using my comment as a platform for general anti-Microsoft attitude because the latter is not really a reply to what I was talking about.
"WHY does MS think that it is OK for i86 to be allowed to be turned off, while ARM can't? That's one question I've not yet heard convincingly answered."
I commented on this elsewhere. We don't know - it's not even out yet. But ARM devices are less generic beasts than x86 devices - the software is a lot more closely written to each individual device. (If Linux has only just built a generic layer for ARM, then I can only guess how far behind Windows is). In short, I don't know but I guess they are seen more like phones where the product is a closely-integrated hardware+software designed and sold (and cruicially, budgeted for) as a single saleable thing, rather than as one thing (hardware) that comes with another thing (software). At least I presume that is the mindset. Basically, it's the same model Apple use with the iPad and some Android devices. You're not supposed to rip it apart for the parts. It may be that these are priced on the expectation that the installed OS will remain there. E.g. the iPad is priced as is because Apple expect to make money from people buying apps for it through the store. If it were generic hardware, it would be more expensive. Don't know on that front, but this is my guess for the motivations.