Microsoft Offers Some Palladium Details

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Microsoft executives Monday at Comdex provided a progress report on its Trustworthy Computing initiative, including details on Palladium.

Palladium is the code name of a set of features for a future version of Windows that, when combined with new hardware, will ensure system integrity and boost data security, Microsoft executives said.

The company unveiled Palladium earlier this year.

The goal is to build an architecture that provides a chain of trust between users in which things such as spyware will no longer pose a threat, said Peter Biddle, Palladium product unit manager.

Palladium will provide for small applications that allow users to manage data they want to keep secret, he said. Those small pieces of code are the building blocks for the platform, he said.

Palladium also creates a trusted user interface that prevents snooping by software that monitors keystrokes, he said. "We want to make sure keystrokes are encrypted," Biddle said.

The new software features will require new hardware, including changes to the CPU and the graphics processor, he said, adding that Microsoft is working with a number of hardware companies on Palladium including Intel.

Biddle declined to offer a specific time line.He would only say that Palladium would appear in a "future version of Windows."

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