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IP: [FP] Microsoft puts smart card on table

From: "ScanThisNews" <[email protected]>
Subject: IP: [FP] Microsoft puts smart card on table
Date: Mon, 26 Oct 1998 19:56:43 -0600
To: [email protected]


Microsoft puts smart card on table


By Tim Clark
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
October 26, 1998

Update: Microsoft tomorrow will announce an extension of its Windows
operating system for smart cards, a company spokesman said today.

Smart cards, which have very limited memory and processing power, are about
the size of a credit card and embedded with a computer chip. The technology
is used for storing data on mobile phones, banking online, and paying for
phone calls and public transit fares.

Microsoft vice president Paul Maritz is scheduled to announce the operating
system initiative tomorrow at Cartes 98, a conference on smart card
technology in Paris.

A new system from Microsoft could bring more acceptance of smart cards in
the United States. Smart cards have been used in Europe, which holds more
than 80 percent of the market, but have been slow to progress in America, at
least in part beacuse of the lack of a standard operating system.

Microsoft is bidding to enter that arena, but Sun Microsystems is already
active in that space with its JavaCard specification. In addition, Mondex,
an e-cash company controlled by MasterCard has its MultOS system designed so
cards with different operating systems can work together.

The company's interest in smart cards parallels its strategy with Windows
CE, a stripped-down version of its PC operating system for consumer
electronics devices. In April, Microsoft announced a version of Windows CE
for automobiles, gas pumps, industrial controllers, and other uses.

The smart-card initiative seeks to go after even smaller, cheaper
devices--particularly when rival Sun is targeting the same business. The
Microsoft spokesman said card developers could use existing Windows tools to
work with their software.

The annual Paris show is a major showcase for the smart card industry.
Schlumberger, a major French manufacturer of smart cards, today unveiled new
software for its cards that transforms a smart card into a security device
to identify its holder.

Many PC makers have said they will produce machines with smart-card readers
built in, a capability that Microsoft has provided in its desktop PC
operating systems. Microsoft has a certification and logo program that
indicates smart card systems work with Windows NT.

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