Long-winded Longhorn aims at server security

While not due for general release until this time next year, Microsoft's next-generation server platform, codenamed Longhorn, will be a more secure, manageable, and modular operating system, according to the company.

During his presentation at this year's Tech.Ed conference in Sydney on Wednesday, Microsoft server division senior product manager David Lowe said security, reliability and performance are the prime concern of people running servers and the company has focused its development efforts on those areas.

"We looked at the way services work in the operating system and reduced the surface area of those services," Lowe said, adding that the right services now run under the right privileges.

Other security enhancements include the Bitlocker volume encryption tool and ability to selectively block new device installations.

While Vista and Longhorn is a shared development project with 70 to 80 percent common code, Lowe said Microsoft has not yet announced the official name for the server, but will do so "soon".

Conceding the company's TCP/IP stack hasn't changed since Windows 95, Lowe said Longhorn's stack is a complete redesign and supports IPv4 and IPv6 natively.