Palladium – The Big Secret

The Big Secret. “An exclusive first look at Microsoft’s ambitious-and risky-plan to remake the personal computer to ensure security, privacy and intellectual property rights. Will you buy it?”
By Steven Levy, Newsweek [ Windows Developer News]

It’s interesting to think about this in the context of a few of our states’ opinion that Microsoft is a monopoly.  From this article, it sounds like they are talking about new features in Windows (and source code as a basis for other implementations), and new functions in hardware to implement some of the necessary features.  It’s easy to believe that this is progress, and that things are moving in a good direction (who doesn’t want better security?).

I believe, however, that the only way this could happen is for a company like Microsoft (market-share speaking) to drive it.  If tomorrow the open source community suddenly had an idea like this, and they built an implementation for Linux, do you think Intel and AMD would step up to the plate and design new silicon?  Do you think Dell and Compaq would build new boxes?  I don’t think so – it’s all about market share.  And Microsoft is one of the few that can deliver the numbers necessary to make it profitable for the hardware vendors.

So…the question is, could innovation like this happen without large companies like Microsoft driving it?  Is it Microsoft’s near-monopolistic hold on the desktop that makes this possible?

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