NEWS - Wednesday, July 3, 2002

Microsoft teases "Trustworthy Computing"

SEATTLE--Microsoft over the past week has quietly unveiled details about a key new security initiative code-named Palladium, giving the first glimpse into its plan to deliver on its promise of "Trustworthy Computing." Named after a protective statue of the Greek goddess of wisdom, "Palladium" is being used to describe a broad-based security system for the Windows operating system that will involve both hardware and software. As Microsoft wraps up its antitrust case and settles into marketing its newest Windows operating system and seven-month-old Xbox video game console, the cash-rich software giant is directing attention toward its next generation of products, including Palladium and others carrying code-names such as "Longhorn" and, reportedly, "Freon." John Manferdelli, product manager for the Palladium business unit, said in an interview published on Microsoft's Web site that the new initiative ``will give individuals and groups of users greater data security, personal privacy and system integrity.'' Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates had outlined a promise of "Trustworthy Computing" in a widely publicized, companywide memo in January. The palladium was famed in ancient Greece for safeguarding Troy. Legend had it that as long as the statue was kept safe, the city could not be captured. Instead of storing sensitive information such as passwords on software, Palladium will also aim to protect information at the hardware level--for example, encrypting keystroke or video display signals carried over wires. To achieve this, Manferdelli said that Microsoft is calling for industrywide collaboration with hardware makers and is already working closely with chip giants Intel and Advanced Micro Devices on the new security architecture. With a cash war chest of more than $30 billion, the Redmond, Washington-based company is trying to move beyond software and into a new realm of services and hardware that will keep it growing.


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