Microsoft To Demo Palladium At WinHEC

Redmond is hammering out licensing plans for the 'nexus' of its next-gen trusted Windows technology platform.

Months of speculation regarding Microsofts Next-Generation Secure Computing Base (NGSCB), a k a "Palladium," will end in May, when Microsoft provides the first live demonstrations of the technology at its Windows Hardware Engineering Conference.

WinHEC, slated for early May in New Orleans, is typically where Microsoft shows off new operating system advances to its hardware partners.

"We will be having a big coming-out showing on NGSCB at WinHEC," says NGSCB group product manager Mario Juarez.

Microsoft could fold NGSCB support into "Longhorn," the Windows release expected in 2005. Its unclear if NGSCB would be part of the client, server or both releases. Microsoft said last week that the company is contemplating releasing a "Limited Edition" release of Longhorn server that would be timed to hit around the same time as the desktop version.

Read More on the Possible Longhorn Limited Edition Server

The NGSCB team, part of the Windows Trusted Platform Technologies unit, now reports to Corporate Vice President Mike Nashs Security Business Unit, rather than Senior VP Will Pooles Windows Client division. John Manferdelli, general manager of Windows Trusted Platform Technologies, oversees not only NGSCB, but also the Windows Rights Management Services platform that Microsoft recently introduced.

Windows Rights Management Services is Microsofts digital-rights-management system that it will be offering later this year as a layered service on top of Windows Server 2003. Microsoft is expected to build Windows Rights Management Services into future releases of Windows server.

For A Palladium Explainer from ExtremeTech, Go Here

For The Details Behind the Palladium Name Change, Read This

A key component of NGSCB is the "trusted operating root," which Microsoft is now referring to as "nexus." Nexus is the kernel of an isolated software stack that runs inside the standard Windows environment, Juarez explains. It is a new Windows component that will debut as part of NGSCB.

"The nexus provides a set of APIs (application programming interfaces) that will work with the new hardware in NGSCB to do things like sealed storage and attestation (new feaures were building in NGSCB)," Juarez says. " People who want to take advantage of these features will need to build "nexus-aware" applications that call the NGSCB APIs.

Read Microsofts Palladium White Paper

"Anyone will be able to build a nexus to work on NGSCB hardware," Juarez continues. "There will be some licensing issues involved (which were focused on now), but we understand the importance of interoperability and were dedicated to ensuring that NGSCB will interact with other operating systems. Its important to note that nexus-aware applications will not hinder any apps or anything else running in the regular Windows environment."