Next-Generation Secure Computing Base
The Next-Generation Secure Computing Base (NGSCB) (codenamed Palladium and also known as Trusted Windows) is a cancelled software architecture designed by Microsoft which aimed to provide users of the Windows operating system with better privacy, security, and system integrity. NGSCB was the result of years of research and development within Microsoft to create a secure computing solution that equaled the security of closed architecture platforms, such as set-top boxes, while simultaneously preserving the backward compatibility, openness, and flexibility of the Windows operating system. The primary stated objective with NGSCB was to ""protect software from software.""Part of the Trustworthy Computing initiative when unveiled in 2002, NGSCB was expected to be integrated with the Windows Vista operating system, then known by its codename ""Longhorn."" NGSCB relied on hardware designed by members of the Trusted Computing Group to produce a parallel operation environment hosted by a new kernel called the ""Nexus"" that existed alongside Windows and provide new applications with features such as hardware-based process isolation, data encryption based on integrity measurements, authentication of a local or remote machine or software configuration, and encrypted paths for user authentication and graphics output. NGSCB would also facilitate the creation and distribution of rights management policies pertaining to the use of information.The technology was the subject of much controversy during its development, with critics contending that it could be used to impose restrictions on users, enforce vendor lock-in, and undermine fair use rights and open-source software. NGSCB was first demonstrated by Microsoft in 2003 at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference before undergoing a revision in 2004 that would enable applications written prior to its development to benefit from its functionality. In 2005, reports stated that Microsoft would scale back its plans so that the company could ship its Windows Vista operating system by its target date of 2006. Development of NGSCB spanned almost a decade before its cancellation, one of the lengthiest development periods of a feature intended for the operating system.NGSCB differed from the technologies that Microsoft billed as pillars of Windows Vista during its development—Windows Presentation Foundation, Windows Communication Foundation, and WinFS—in that it was not built upon and did not prioritize .NET managed code during its development. While the technology has not fully materialized, aspects of NGSCB have emerged in Microsoft's BitLocker full disk encryption feature, which can optionally use the Trusted Platform Module to validate the integrity of boot and system files prior to operating system startup; the Measured Boot feature in Windows 8, the certificate attestation features in Windows 8.1, and the Device Guard feature of Windows 10.