It seems that the Next Generation Secure Computing Base – NGSCB, better known by its codename Palladium – is being rethought. Instead, the company will be working on more support for No Execute – NX – a feature of AMD’s Opteron and Athlon64 chips which allows code to effectively be marked as code, preventing it from being overwritten. This would prevent many of the most common buffer overun exploits, and support for it appears in Windows XP SP2.
Microsoft looking again at this is no bad thing, and no surprise after the overwhealming hostility that Palladium had met from the computer buying public While some of its ideas were sound, the overall package managed to conflate the issues of digital rights management and secure computing, two things which only loosely connected.
Good news: Reuters headlines are now available via RSS.
Dennis Sellers has a comment this morning on how Longhorn’s putative hardware demands compare with those of a Mac, pointing to a story by Mary Jo Foley which listed the specs, from an unnamed Microsoft source.
The spec itself is pretty high end. To quote Mary Jo:
Microsoft is expected to recommend that the “average” Longhorn PC feature a dual-core CPU running at 4 to 6GHz; a minimum of 2 gigs of RAM; up to a terabyte of storage; a 1 Gbit, built-in, Ethernet-wired port and an 802.11g wireless link; and a graphics processor that runs three times faster than those on the market today.
First of all, one minor caveat emptor: I occasionally work for eWeek.com, as does Mary Jo. I know her well enough to know that she hasn’t just picked this spec out of a hat. So where’s it come from? I’m sure that Mary Jo’s got this from someone in Microsoft, but the important question is where did they get it from?
Because those specs are very much not the ones that Microsoft is using now to develop Longhorn. Nor are they the ones that Joe Beda, one of the guys that’s working on Avalon, talks about here. And, as Scoble points out, don’t forget that Longhorn needs to work on laptops and tablets too, and they certainly won’t have anything like that amount of power.
In fact, I believe those specs were the ones that Bill Gates showed up on a slide at last year’s Professional Developers Conference as a machine that would be possible – and possibly typical – by the time Longhorn ships. In other words, they aren’t a requirement – they’re the kind of machines that Longhorn needs to be able to take advantage of. WinFS, for example, needs to be able to cope with terabytes of data smoothly.
Brian Duff posts on how the UI of iTuneskicks the trap out of Windows Media Player. And he’s completely right: iTunes is the first application I install on any machine, Mac on Windows, for the reasons he outlines.
Michael Gartenberg posts his first impressions of Gmail
Geek alert: if you have OneNote 1.1 installed, you can now import OPML files using this nifty little plug in.
Get your credit cards ready for another $129 purchase: Steve Jobs is to give the first look at Mac OS X 10.4, AKA Tiger, at this year’s Worldwide Developer Conference. I’m not sure yet what could persuade me to shell out yet again for the yearly upgrade.
And do you think that it’s a coincidence that Apple announces this the week of Microsoft’s Windows Hardware Developer Conference?
Some initial thoughts on what Gmail needs to be a truly viable mail service:
1. An Outlook plug-in. I don’t care how it does it, I don’t care how it adds ads (which it has to): I want a plug-in for Outlook that allows me to access Gmail through it. Of course, it should also allow me to do all that whizzy searching goodness. I’d pay for this.
2. Signature support. Am I missing something, or is this missing?
3. Synchronisation with my Outlook contacts. Please!!!
Come on – there have to be some Apple bloggers (other than Dave Hyatt) out there?
I’m currently using Gmail for all my email, which is the first time I’ve relied on a Web-based email client for mail on a regular basis. So far, it’s the best Web client I’ve ever used – by a long way. The threading is very, very useful, although it will take a while to get used to the idea of not deleting mail…