Microsoft Delivers Windows for Smart Cards

LAS VEGAS, Nov. 15, 1999 — At COMDEX/Fall ’99 today, Microsoft Corp. announced availability of the Microsoft® Windows® Smart Card Toolkit, which will enable developers and card customers to build a broader range of smart-card applications and services more easily by utilizing a common operating system and familiar tools. Windows Powered Smart Cards, which are the size of a credit card, have a crypto-capable microprocessor and can perform a number of practical applications, such as secure corporate logons for Windows 2000; Web and phone authentication; medical data storage; and debit, credit or cash transactions. Windows Powered Smart Cards are being used in a number of pilot projects both in the United States and Europe.

In addition to the availability of the Windows Smart Card Toolkit, Microsoft 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 Windows for Smart Cards technology.

“Currently, logging on remotely can be a cumbersome, slow and expensive process for any mobile work force,” said Steve Brown, head of smart-card development at BT. “We see Windows Powered Smart Cards 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.”

“Microsoft’s vision for Windows Powered Smart Cards is to let users access any online resource securely,” said Philippe Goetschel, director of Smart Card Group at Microsoft. “Our Windows for Smart Cards operating system, together with the powerful and familiar development tools in the Windows for Smart Cards Toolkit, enables developers to create applications faster, easier and more cost-effectively than ever before.”

At the show, Microsoft also discussed the Smart Card Associates Program and showcased a number of ISV solutions including those from CyberMark, Litronic Inc. and SCM Microsystems Inc. The Smart Card Associates Program, which today has over 50 members committed to shipping Windows for Smart Card products in the coming weeks, was designed to further support the ISV community by providing members with technical and marketing advantages, early code, Web site support, and use of the Microsoft Smart Card logo.

Windows for Smart Cards extends the benefits of the development model for Windows, including a familiar, language-neutral run-time environment and the well-known tools such as the Visual Basic® development system. This enables card issuers and programmers for Windows to use their existing expertise to develop and deploy a broader range of smart-card solutions and applications than they could with the existing smart-card platforms.

Typical solutions enabled via these smart cards, such as secure network authentication, secure corporate transactions (such as online banking, and debit and credit), health-care information, electronic cash and customer loyalty programs, will take advantage of these features:

  • 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® 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.


The Microsoft Windows Smart Card Toolkit is available today and can be ordered online at More information is available at .

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Quotes of Support for the Official Release of the Microsoft Windows for Smart Cards Operating System

November 1999

“For over a year, Gemplus has worked closely with Microsoft on the development of the Windows® for Smart Cards operating system to both actively design and market this open platform. Microsoft® Windows for Smart Cards will foster the broad-based acceptance of smart cards in the IT marketplace. To help make this happen, Gemplus is now announcing GemShield, the first Windows-powered smart card. In parallel, we have also begun deploying Windows-powered technology in several key pilot programs and integrating it in associated solutions, such as GemSAFE Enterprise, our network security smart card-based solution.”

— Marc Lassus

“Microsoft’s entry into the smart card operation system business has brought an energy to the industry that is benefiting all the industry players, including the technology and solution providers as well as customers — Schlumberger supports this program. Schlumberger’s involvement with Windows Powered Smart Cards is an important element in our continuing close relationship with Microsoft that began in 1996 when Schlumberger and Microsoft founded, along with three other companies, the PC/SC Workgroup. This organization successfully developed the specifications that have standardized the way smart cards interact with personal computers, and the results of this collaboration are embedded within Windows 2000.”

— Olivier Piou
Vice President, Smart Card Products
Schlumberger Smart Cards & Terminals

“The Windows for Smart Cards operating system will open up the smart card platform to a myriad of new and yet unimagined uses. By providing a familiar development environment, developers versed in programming for Windows will find it easy to create new applications for the new platform. We were excited to help Microsoft with the development of its toolset, which will serve as the foundation for future smart card application development.”

— Don Whitt
General Manager

“With the availability of the Windows for Smart Card Toolkit, we now have the ability to dramatically accelerate our application development cycle. We believe this will contribute to the growth of the CyberMark smart card community by bringing added value, richer content and

— Tom Burke
Vice President of Marketing
Cybermark International

“First Data Resources is committed to supplying back-end application managment services for the Microsoft Windows for Smart Cards operating system on behalf of our 1,400 card-issuing clients. Because of its flexibility, we can help our clients offer a variety of single or multiple smart card applications, bring smart card solutions more quickly to market, and do so cost effectively because the entry fee for using Windows for Smart Cards is very competitive.”

— Ann Kennedy
Vice President of Global Smart Card
Business Development
First Data Resources

“After a successful evaluation of Windows for Smart Cards, we are excited to announce that all our products will be released with full support for this new platform. The Windows for Smart Cards technology provides a very effective programming framework for new and legacy applications. The platform will help to increase the acceptance of smart cards in the U.S. market because of its natural integration with the Microsoft Visual Studio® development system, leveraging the knowledge of millions of programmers around the world. It is our belief that the trigger application for smart cards in the United States will be logical access control; we will release a public key infrastructure (PKI) role-based access control technology named Key@dmin, fully integrated with the Windows DNA architecture, to support the new demands of Internet and client/server-based systems. ISOL’s Key@dmin 3.0 will be released, in partnership with a major smart card manufacturer, before the end of year.”

— Lionel C. Carrasco
IdeaSOL Inc.

“The business world is just beginning to realize the potential of smart cards in corporate IT applications, and Microsoft’s vision gives the boost needed for worldwide acceptance. Together, Litronic and Microsoft will drive the broad implementation of smart card technology — capitalizing on the unique synergies we bring to the business-to-business electronic commerce market.”

— Kris Shah
President and CEO
Litronic Inc.

“The impact of Microsoft’s new operating system on the smart card market cannot be overstated. This platform offers customers a cost-effective way to issue Polaroid Electronic IDs with dynamic application loading capabilities. It solves the major problem associated with trying to define all system requirements before card issuance. Polaroid Electronic IDs, with a life expectancy of five to 10 years, can be issued now, and future applications can be developed and loaded onto the card later.”

— Kevin Bernier
Director, Smart Card Programs
Polaroid Identification Systems

“PubliCARD believes that Microsoft’s new operating system will set one of the main industry standards in the world, and that our status as the first smart card company in the United States to manufacture, market and sell Windows Powered Smart Cards reinforces our position as a leader in the smart card industry. We have adopted this operating system as a platform on which to deliver our numerous advanced smart card-based Internet applications. Doing so places us on a more competitive level compared with other companies who are using existing proprietary and fragmented smart card operating systems.”

— Richard Phillimore
Executive Vice President
PubliCARD Inc.

“We strongly believe that Microsoft’s development of the Windows for Smart Cards operating system is the cornerstone for the creation of a security infrastructure that will enable powerful new applications, from secure e-mail and Web access to a corporate-based public key infrastructure. Smart card readers will be the core enabler for a business-usage model of smart card-based security. SCM Microsystems’ readers provide a cost-effective, universal and secure interface between smart cards and PCs, and can communicate with any smart card — regardless of the manufacturer. We are pleased that Microsoft has integrated support for our readers within its Windows 2000 PC/SC architecture and that our readers can easily interface with Microsoft Windows for Smart Cards.”

— Nick Efthymiou
Executive Vice President and General
Manager, PC Security Products Division
SCM Microsystems Inc.

“TTI plans to enhance its current distribution strategy by marketing its new software product, which incorporates smart card-based applications designed for secure e-commerce, loyalty and personal productivity, through Microsoft channels. We ported the CardTouch back-end to run on the Windows NT® operating system in 1996, but card and device deployment continued to require special expertise. With Windows Powered Smart Cards, PC/SC devices and Windows 2000-based servers, it is time to offer solutions through Microsoft channels.”

— Bill Hussey
TTI Inc.

“Visa is committed to ensuring that the Open Platform allows our member banks to have access to the very best in smart card technology, and we see Windows for Smart Cards playing a very important role in this technology in the future. Visa is excited that Microsoft will incorporate the Open Platform options as part of its Windows Smart Card Toolkit option pack.”

— Philip Yen
Senior Vice President, Global Product
Visa International

Microsoft, Windows, Visual Studio and Windows NT are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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