Microsoft's leaner approach to Vista security

by admin August 29, 2005 at 12:40 pm

Microsoft is talking up support for hardware-based security in Windows Vista, though only a sliver of the company’s original plan will make it into the operating system.

Three years ago Microsoft unveiled Palladium, renamed Next-Generation Secure Computing Base (NGSCB) after the original name became tainted with controversy over privacy and fair-use issues and because another company claimed rights to the Palladium name. The technology was to be part of the next Windows release.

NGSCB promised to boost PC security by using hardware and software that would allow parts of a computer to be isolated from malicious code such as viruses and worms. It also would foil attacks that use logging devices by encrypting data as it moves between a PC’s hardware components. NGSCB required significant changes to hardware and software.

In May 2004, following criticism from software makers, Microsoft said it was retooling NGSCB so some of the benefits would be available without the need to recode applications. The company has been silent on the plan since, though it insists NGSCB is not dead. Instead, its delivery is still to be determined, according to Microsoft’s Web site.

Now Microsoft is busy telling hardware and software makers about Secure Startup in Windows Vista, which it says is the “first delivery” on its hardware-based security plan. Vista, previously known by its code name, Longhorn, is the next client release of Windows due on store shelves in time for the next year’s holiday shopping season.

Full article: ZDNet News