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Microsoft Delivers Windows for Smart Cards

Microsoft Corp. Monday introduced the Microsoft Windows Smart Card tool kit, which will enable developers and clients to build a broader range of smart-card applications more easily by utilizing a common operating system.

Windows Powered Smart Cards have a crypto-capable microprocessor and can perform a number of usable applications, such as secure corporate log-ons for Windows 2000; Web and phone authentication; medical data storage; and debit, credit or cash transactions.

Also, Microsoft (MSFT) announced a pilot program with British Telecom (BT) that will provide BT's 35,000 mobile workers with one-touch remote network access from any device through the new application.

"We see Windows Powered SmartCards as a key enabling technology to avoid such pitfalls and enable one-touch remote access for mobile workers. The Windows for Smart Cards operating system meets our stringent security requirements and allows more of our employees to take advantage of increasingly mobile and flexible work environments," said Steve Brown, head of smart-card development at BT.

Also, card issuers and programmers for Windows with Smart Cards may use their expertise to develop a broader range of smart-card and applications than they could with the existing smart-card platforms.

Solutions provided by the tool kit include:

  • Secure operating system: This gives the card issuer the control of a FAT file system with Access Controls Rule, an on-card Win32 API, language-neutral virtual machine and popular cryptos
  • Rapid application development tools: These include support for the Visual Studio(R) development system, a PC-based simulator for debugging applications, and a developer smart card with flash memory for prototyping
  • Sample applications: The availability of dozens of real-life samples that developers can simply compile and deploy rather than starting from scratch helps speed time-to-market