Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 21st Jan 2006 22:42 UTC, submitted by PlatformAgnostic
Windows "With little fanfare, Microsoft just announced that the x64 version of Windows Vista will require all kernel-mode code to be digitally signed. This is very different than the current WHQL program, where the user ultimately decides how they want to handle unsigned drivers. Vista driver developers must obtain a Publisher Identity Certificate (PIC) from Microsoft. Microsoft says they won't charge for it, but they require that you have a Class 3 Commercial Software Publisher Certificate from Verisign. This costs $500 [EUR 412] per year, and as the name implies, is only available to commercial entities."
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32-bit to x64
by ZaNkY on Sun 22nd Jan 2006 03:52 UTC
Member since:

note:Please forgive the long post, but it is all on topic ;)

I think there is a little more to this article than meets the eye.

Someone earlier said that this won't affect 32-bit Vista, so it really won't concern most people and people should in effect shut up.

I don't think that the above is entirely correct. I think Microsoft is anticipating a surge in the 64-bit computing industry. I mean think about it, if MS one day comes up on a TV commercial and says: "BUY A 64-BIT CPU", in a more clever and marketing-wise approach (it's faster! It runs Vista better! It makes you cool!.....), they can effectively move the entire industry from 32-bit to 64-bit (kicking and screaming if it has to).

Furthermore, I don't think that MS's intervention is necessary in the first place! Most of AMD's chips are already 64-bit, and Intel is heading that way. It's true that the 16-bit to 32-bit "revolution" took years (maybe decades?), but I think that the move from 32 to 64 will be a lot faster one. (yes in theory 64-bit has existed for a LONG time, but I'm talking about from the time of being commercially (and affordable) available to most computers users have 64b). Heck, I have a 64-bit CPU, have had one for a year, and donít see why my next CPU purchase should be 32-bit (even though there is very little dif between the two)

My point is, in a couple years, the x64 Vista market may surpass the 32b Vista market, and MS will be happy for making a couple thousands extra bucks + control.

Personally, I agree with the above points that:
1) Won't limit the usage of "bad" drivers (if you got the cash and can get certified, then you have kernel access [even if limited])
2) This breaks the ability (possibility) to write your own driver and implemented it to fix whatever isn't working/problem (or someone else writes it and distributes it)
3) Control + money (very little of it at that, let's say 10,000 companies register at 500$, thatís 5 million, how much of it would MS "theoretically" get if there is some business between Verisign and MS? let's say 2.5m, that's nothing to MS, Maybe pay for a small R+D project, and thatís if 10,000 companies follow through. I doubt MS is in it for the money, unless verisign is paying MS a considerable amount, in a similar to advertising ploy)
4) One more form of control on users (you can run this program, this program, this...wait a min! I didn't certify that! NO.)

Whatever, I'm not getting Vista, I honestly like some of the eye-candy (I'm a sucker for eye-candy ;) ), but with all these rules and regulations, TC, DRM... Just gives me a

I'm not trying to flame MS, but I don't think that their motives are pure, and they will break a nice amount of stuff if they do this. Good Idea (help with writing better drivers), bad way of implementing it (shut down all driver-writers that aren't commercially certified).

(Besides, Windows is not the only OS maker that has 64-bit OSs, look at the Unix/Linux camp! ;) )

EDIT: small typos, additon of 4),


Edited 2006-01-22 04:01

Reply Score: 2