"The Next-Generation Secure Computing Base (NGSCB) is new security technology for the Microsoft® Windows™ platform. It will be included as part of an upcoming version of the Microsoft Windows operating system, code-named 'Longhorn.' NGSCB employs a unique hardware and software design to enable new kinds of secure computing capabilities to provide enhanced data protection, privacy and system integrity." (From the technical FAQ)
This new design, previously code-named Palladium, sounds like a very positive development for the Windows operating system, providing security far better than anything available today. However, Richard Stallman observes in his essay [Can you trust your computer?]
, "When Microsoft speaks of 'security' in connection with Palladium, they do not mean what we normally mean by that word: protecting your machine from things you do not want. They mean protecting your copies of data on your machine from access by you in ways others do not want." Microsoft will use NGSCB to [restricting free use|restrict free use].
NGSCB is a model independant of any particular software platform. That implies it can be implemented across multiple operating systems. This would allow any operating system to take advantage of the matching security features of the hardware. However, much of the NGSCB design is covered by [patents]. According to the technical FAQ, "there will be intellectual property issues to be resolved." As it's their standard practice, Microsoft is expected to use NGSCB and its patents to [preventing fair competition|prevent fair competition].