When Microsoft announced its “trustworthy computing” initiative, I foolishly thought it meant that the company would concentrate on shipping software that didn’t crash and that didn’t create critical security vunerablities for its clients. Turns out they had in mind something like Palladium.
Mitch Wagner has been doing a stellar job in unspooling what Microsoft has said about Palladium, what it hasn’t said, what it meant to say, and what it most assuredly didn’t mean to say. You need to read his stuff — which can get dense, because it’s a dense subject — if you want to understand how you may be forced to use your computer in five years.
Essentially, if I understand it correctly, Microsoft says that the best way to assure software quality is to control the entire computing ecosystem — hardware and software; server, client and network. Even the data.
There are a lot of obvious problems with that, and more that are more subtle than obvious. If you care, and you should, bookmark Mitch’s site; he’s on the hunt.