James Bottomley, who is the chairman of the Linux Foundation's technical advisory board, has based his work on the open source Tianocore project, which is released by Intel and is based on the company's Unified Extensible Firmware Interface specification.
Bottomley's work will help smaller GNU/Linux distributions as they try to come up with ways to ensure that their operating systems will work with hardware that is built to support Windows 8. This is because it is very difficult right now to obtain hardware that supports secure boot.
Exactly how hardware manufacturers will implement secure boot is not known either.
Secure boot means that an operating system will need to include a signed key from Microsoft in order to boot. Microsoft has said that it will be possible to turn off secure boot on x86 systems but has yet to specify how this will be implemented.