Tech

Project Verona: Microsoft researches on secure infrastructure language


In order to rule out certain classes of errors and software vulnerabilities right from the start, Microsoft has been officially investigating the Rust programming language as an alternative to C and C ++ since this summer. In the future, another secure programming language from Microsoft could be added, especially for infrastructure, which is being developed in the Verona project.

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For the first time publicly presented this research work of the Microsoft employees Matthew Parkinson in a lecture, Involved in the project are other researchers from Cambridge Labs of Microsoft Research, Imperial College London and Microsoft's Program Manager for C #, Mads Torgersen.

Project Verona is also exploring ways to replace previously used components written in C and C ++ with new techniques. The main focus, however, according to the lecture is on infrastructure and not on core components of the operating system. The infrastructure includes Parkinson according to the lecture about device drivers, larger server components such as Exchange or ASP.NET or Azure components such as Storage, Cosmos DB or Data Lake.

Based on Rust

Research on the newly created language focuses on a few concepts that are so similar to Rust. This includes the suppression of race conditions by an appropriate memory management or a new model for the secure implementation of concurrency. Likewise, legacy applications in C and C ++ should be able to be integrated into the new language in a kind of sandbox.

The most important difference to Rust itself is the Ownership model of the Project Verona. This applies to Rust only for a single object; However, the Microsoft team wants to expand this to an object set, since the data actually used better represent better.

So far Microsoft has implemented a runtime environment, an interpreter and a type check in the project. A compiler should follow. In addition, the team plans to publish its work on Github soon.

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