Windows 11 gets first taste of Rust - say hello to tighter security for the OS

Rust is already in the Windows 11 kernel, albeit just in testing for now - and this move should eventually tighten up security considerably.

1 minute & 22 seconds read time

Windows 11 is going rusty, and we don't mean that someone left the operating system out in the rain for too long - rather that Rust is now part of the OS in a fresh plan being enacted by Microsoft to bolster security levels.

As tweeted by Mark Russinovich, CTO of Microsoft Azure, Windows 11 testers are now using builds of the operating system which have Rust in the Windows kernel (as denoted by the 'rs' in the above screenshot).

What is Rust? It's code that offers a greater level of security than C++, and Microsoft is introducing it to the kernel to beef up memory safety in particular. Tackling that aspect is a big thing, as a good deal of zero-day exploits come about due to bugs in memory handling.

Windows 11 will certainly be a safer place without those flaws popping up. That's the clear benefit compared to C++, and in addition, Rust is as performant too, so there's no trade-off in that respect (or not much, anyway).

None of this is any surprise, though, seeing as at BlueHat IL in Israel last month, Microsoft VP David Weston had already indicated that Rust would be coming to the Windows 11 kernel.

The first code has turned up pretty sharpish, then, but as noted, this is still in Windows 11 preview, not the finished OS.

Of course, one of Microsoft's major selling points with Windows 11 is how it's more secure than Windows 10 in many ways. Leading to the requirement for TPM in the system specs, of course, which left many older PCs out in the cold and unable to upgrade to Windows 11 (at least without installing a TPM module).

Some PCs may say they're ineligible for a Windows 11 upgrade, mind, but all the user has to do is turn on TPM in firmware (we explain all about this here).

Darren has written for numerous magazines and websites in the technology world for almost 30 years, including TechRadar, PC Gamer, Eurogamer, Computeractive, and many more. He worked on his first magazine (PC Home) long before Google and most of the rest of the web existed. In his spare time, he can be found gaming, going to the gym, and writing books (his debut novel – ‘I Know What You Did Last Supper’ – was published by Hachette UK in 2013).

What's in Darren's PC?

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