REDMOND, Wash., Aug. 12, 1997 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the worldwide, free availability of the Microsoft® Smart Card Software Development Kit (SDK), giving a major boost to smart-card applications – part of the next generation of PC computing. With the release of the SDK, the Microsoft Windows® and Windows NT® operating systems are now fully smart-card-enabled, giving developers all the tools they need to create smart-card-aware applications.
Smart cards will enable a new generation of PC solutions based on the PC/SC Workgroup specifications, in which users can simply insert a credit-cardlike device into a PC smart reader to securely log on to their computer or the network, view and send messages, hold videoconferences, buy tickets, conduct online banking and perform other tasks. Corporate customers are already expressing strong interest in smart cards for security applications to enable virtual private networks, or extranets, and to facilitate Internet commerce.
“Today’s release of the Smart Card SDK gives developers a single, comprehensive source for all the tools they need to write smart-card-aware applications for Windows,” said Cornelius Willis, director of platform marketing at Microsoft. “With more than 100 million PCs running 32-bit Windows platforms, Windows offers hardware and software vendors the largest possible market and the best possible platform for smart-card solutions.”
SDK Receives Strong Industry Backing
Major PC original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and independent hardware vendors (IHVs) are showing strong support for Windows as the smart-card platform of choice. Manufacturers will begin shipping compatible smart cards and smart-card readers this year, making Windows one of the most economical platforms on which to build and deploy smart-card solutions.
Given the strong commitment from OEMs and IHVs, software developers using the Smart Card SDK are assured that their applications will work with Windows-compatible readers and cards. And hardware vendors are assured that their readers will support smart card-aware Windows-based applications. This means that corporate customers can invest in Windows-based smart-card solutions now with the confidence that they can take advantage of cost-effective, interoperable products from a broad range of vendors and that they can carry their investment into the future. In addition, they can take advantage of the Windows-based smart-card infrastructure needed for emerging applications involving network security, authentication and electronic commerce.
Hardware vendors supporting the smart-card platform for Windows include Fischer International Systems Corp. (FISC), Gemplus, Group Bull, Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM Corp., Innovonics Inc., Litronic Inc., Schlumberger Electronic/Transactions, Siemens Nixdorf Information Systems Inc., SCM Microsystems Inc. and Tritheim Technologies Inc.
Windows NT 4.0 and 5.0, Microsoft Windows 95, and Windows 98 will support smart-card solutions both at the device driver level for hardware and at the application level with device-independent application programming interfaces (APIs) for smart-card-based services. The SDK contains all the APIs that developers need to take advantage of this support including multilanguage support through Microsoft’s Component Object Model (COM).
The Microsoft Smart Card SDK is available now without charge, other than connect-time charges if any, from the Microsoft Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/smartcard/ or through the Microsoft Developer Network at http://www.microsoft.com/msdn/
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Press Contacts for Partners Now Offering Smart Card Hardware
Fischer International Systems Corp. (FISC)
(203) 221-2825 (fax)
(508) 294-5816 (fax)
(408) 553-2900 (fax)
44 (0) 181 818 4127
44 (0) 181 818 5499 (fax)
(203) 325-8772, ext. 14
SCM Microsystems Inc.
(561) 997-3416 (fax)
Tritheim Technologies Inc.
(813) 944-3409 (fax)