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Microsoft's Pluton will be shut off by default

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Microsoft

PCs coming this year with Microsoft's integrated Pluton security chip won't be locked down to Windows 11, and users will have the option to install Linux and turn off the feature completely.

The first PCs with Pluton chips and Windows 11 PCs were shown at CES earlier this month. Major PC chip makers, including Intel, AMD and Qualcomm are embedding the Pluton processor inside processors as a secure hardware layer to protect PCs.

But Microsoft's invasion at the hardware level has some users - especially in the open-source community - on high alert. The concern relates to the chip being a proprietary backdoor for Microsoft to take control of PCs and tying the hardware closely to Windows 11.

AMD integrated Microsoft's Pluton in Ryzen 6000 chips, which were introduced at CES earlier this month. AMD's goal is to bring better security to PCs, but users can disable Pluton.

"AMD respects user choice and, as is typical with many other security technologies, we provide the ability for a user to enable or disable Pluton based on their preferences in our reference BIOS," an AMD spokeswoman told The Register.

Pluton is a Windows security technology, but it does not restrict Linux installation, the spokeswoman said.

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Also: Can Linux steal the desktop PC crown from Windows? Experts weigh in.

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