Vista 64-bit Kernel Locked Down

Aron Schatz
October 25, 2006

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Say goodbye to developers doing third party patching and indie drivers for things. Vista DRM will lock unsigned code from running in kernel space. On the surface it seems like a good idea until you figure out that it is Microsoft, not you, that controls what gets to run.


There's going to be a kybosh on naughty developers mucking about with the 64-bit kernel; patching will be banned. McAfee and others seem to have already learned of the new deal at Microsoft. Speaking at the RSA Europe conference in Nice, Microsoft security technology unit corporate VP Ben Fathi said the 64-bit kernel will be a "black box". He compared developers insisting on the ability to patch the code to a Sony Walkman user invalidating their warranty by opening up the device. He said: "It's just not the way the box was designed...we're putting a stop to that." Fathi conceeded for 32-bit systems the firm will never have the amount of control over security. He said: "That train has left the station."

I love that line. I can buy Windows and not tinker with it? Well, screw you Microsoft.


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