Security, Safety and Search

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2005-04-15 Print this article Print

Top of the list is "unrivalled" security and safety, with the Longhorn development team focused on doing the best possible job in that space. "I think it will be appreciated," he said, pointing out the firewall and other changes that were visible in Windows XP Service Pack 2. According to Allchin, Microsoft is doing a "significant, significant" amount of work on security in Longhorn as well, which includes an outward-bound firewall in addition to an inbound one, and the ability to have a filter on it.
Also included will be the first part of its NGSCB (Next-Generation Secure Computing Base) vision, which it is calling Secure Startup.
"If you have a laptop and you lose it or leave it in a taxicab, no one will be able to boot something else and sneak around and try to find out what was on your machine. So its basically whole-volume encryption and the ability to lock the hardware to the software," he said. Click here to read more about NGSCB, originally code-named Palladium, the built-in Windows security system that will appear in Microsofts upcoming Longhorn OS. On the safety front, most users today run as administrators. "We are changing that—users will be running as standard users, and in particular, with Internet Explorer, they can run that even in a lower privilege, so they can contain when they are browsing on the Internet versus on the intranet and can have more assurances they are not going to have bad things leak over," he said. On the mobility front there are also many new features, from Secure Startup to auxiliary displays—in which users can see calendars and other items when the machine is "pseudo-shut off"—to the reworked client-side caching, about which Allchin said, "We have done a very good job in that regard." Longhorn will also move the concept of "search" forward, toward something Allchin calls "Visualize and Organize." Microsoft is also working on reducing the operational cost of the system. While the onus for this will be on Microsoft to prove, Allchin said he felt this release of Longhorn included enough features that Microsoft will be able to show where these cost savings would come from. Corporate and enterprise users will benefit from features like the massive reduction of images needing maintenance, as well as from being able to manipulate those images offline. A new event system will let users track what is going on in the system, Allchin said, while there will be a dramatic reduction in the number of reboots required when systems are updated. Add hot patching into the mix and these features, and many others, when taken together "will be consequential," Allchin said. Check out eWEEK.coms for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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