New PCs likely to cede some control

Tuesday, 5 November 2002, 10:00 AM EST

To thwart hackers and foster online commerce, the next generation of computers will almost certainly cede some control to software firms, Hollywood and other outsiders.

That could break a long-standing tenet of computing: that PC owners ultimately control data on their own machines.

Microsoft calls its technology "Palladium." Intel dubs it "LaGrande." An industry group that includes these companies, IBM, Hewlett-Packard and 170 others terms it "trusted computing."

Though the initiatives have technical differences, they share the goal of hardwiring security into silicon and related software -- a leap beyond today's less-secure mechanisms, which are coded into programs to protect data.

"This is a fundamentally new approach as opposed to taking a software-only, Band-Aid approach," said Narendar Sahgal, a software planning manager at Intel.

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