Microsoft gets technical on Longhorn and Palladium

Microsoft will demonstrate its Next-Generation Secure Computing Base (NGSCB) security initiative for the first time at its...

Microsoft will demonstrate its Next-Generation Secure Computing Base (NGSCB) security initiative for the first time at its Windows Hardware Engineering Conference next week.

The software maker will also give more information on Longhorn, the next version of its operating system for desktops planned for release in 2005.

Other topics on the agenda include the recently announced Windows CE .net 4.2 for handheld devices and embedded systems, and Windows Real-Time Communications Server, formerly called Greenwich. 

New to WinHEC this year is an "innovation room" which will have about 14 products that Microsoft and its hardware partners are working on for release over the next three years. They include large, high-resolution displays and an "ultra-mobile PC", as well as what Microsoft referred to as an "advanced communications PC".

WinHEC will be key in the development of Microsoft's hardware-based security technology, better known as Palladium.

NGSCB is a combination of hardware and software which Microsoft cliams would greatly improve the security of PCs, although critics have raised concerns about user privacy. NGSCB may be included in Longhorn.

"This security product is important for Microsoft and it is important to get a demo out. This is the first time we will see what it is going to look like and we will be able to estimate what kind of an investment it is going to take to deploy Palladium," said Mike Cherry, a lead analyst at Directions.

NGSCB includes a software component for Windows called a nexus and a chip that can perform cryptographic operations called the Security Support Component.

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