Thanks prasanth. Ross Anderson of Cambridge University has published a lengthy and informative paper/FAQ on Palladium, the Trusted Computing Platform Alliance (TCPA), their relationship and their implications. His take is that Microsoft's Palladium, soft-announced by the company earlier this week, will be built on TCPA hardware, adding some extra features as it goes along. Some of these features, he notes, will the there in order to make the package look more attractive, while some of the components of Palladium are already shipping in Xbox and WinXP.
TCPA itself provides for a monitoring component to be included in future PCs. In phase one Anderson expects it to be an add-on chip on the motherboard, but further down the line it will be in the CPU. It's more crackable as an add-on, as you could conceivably get around it by monitoring bus traffic, but once it's in the CPU this becomes a lot harder, and he speculates about the likely effects in the event of TCPA/Palladium being to all intents and purposes uncrackable.
Aside from providing the music business with workable DRM, it would also allow software companies to lock in their users. The more Palladium/TCPA-enabled apps there are, the more this will be the case, and it will also have the tendency to favour existing players while locking out new entrants.