TPM For Notebooks
IBM had solutions with the predecessors of TPM some time ago. With the introduction of the trusted computing enabled T23 ThinkPad notebooks, login keys could be deposited safely, data could be locally encoded, and the systems could be used in VPN networks with greater safety.
Meanwhile, more and more computers are equipped with TP modules, though without much notice by the user. When we came upon Dell's X1 Notebook, we found the mobile version of the very same network controller (Broadcom BCM5752m), featuring the same TPM features.
Trusted Computing is a well-crafted approach technically, which presents a feasible solution to many well known security risks, but probably not all. It offers clearly more comfortable and more powerful solutions than older proposals.
The extra costs for enhancing hardware are minor, and, particularly for enterprises with more exposed IT systems, TPM could be a huge benefit. The possibilities for processors supporting trusted computing exist with both major chipmakers. Both LaGrande (Intel) and Presidio (AMD) are technically similar, both allowing for the implementation of a "safe" system kernel. They also support additional unsafe operating system partitions, in conjunction with the virtualization technologies Vanderpool and Pacifica (Intel/AMD).
We do not have any serious doubts about the success of TPM platforms. Risks for the technology exist only from unsatisfactory communication of the technology's potential, or if aggressive lobbying politics are forced upon the user, which could be by exaggerated by the influence of industries like the movie or music sectors. Unfortunately, HP/Compaq could not even provide beta software, which would have made possible a closer look at potential TPM capabilities.
Before trusted computing can become a reality on a larger scale, TPM hardware that is already around will remain in a state of pseudo-hibernation for the time being. We will see a wider breakthrough of this technology with the introduction of Windows Vista.