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Salon.com: Can We Trust Microsoft's Palladium?

Jul 11, 2002, 19:00 (55 Talkback[s])

"Many longtime critics of Microsoft have been quick to dismiss the idea as smoke and mirrors, mere public relations. It's too complicated to ever actually work, some say, and it's just an attempt to convince people that Microsoft is sincere about wanting to make computers 'safer.' It's also easy to see Palladium as no more than a gesture made to appease Hollywood and the recording industry, which have long been clamoring for such systems.

"But what if it's not all puffery? What if Microsoft does manage to build a foolproof Palladium and deploy it to 100 million users? Those questions elicit the really troubling scenarios. 'If Microsoft has its way, there just won't be any open-source software,' says Perens, referring to the thriving ecology of software development in which users freely share code and constantly modify each other's applications. Perens is convinced that Palladium will let Microsoft decide which applications can run on a machine and which are simply too unsafe for public consumption -- such as programs written by open-source hackers. Perens even thinks that's the point of Palladium: 'It's designed to kill off open-source development...'"

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