REDMOND, Wash., June 29, 2000 — Today at the second annual Smart Card Business Development Conference, Microsoft Corp. President and CEO Steve Ballmer addressed more than 400 smart card industry representatives, outlining the role that smart cards can play in Microsoft’s .NET Platform.
“As we move to a Web-based lifestyle, authentication and security become critical,”
“Smart Cards are an enabling technology in the Microsoft® .NET vision, providing an affordable and effective way to increase the security of computing. We believe the demand for smart cards is just emerging and will grow exponentially.”
The General Services Administration (GSA) is an example of a forward-looking organization working to deploy smart cards to the federal government. GSA recently awarded a 10-year contract estimated at $1.5 billion to five industry partners: 3GI, Electronic Data Systems Corp., KPMG Consulting, PRC Inc. and Logicon Inc. Microsoft is a subcontractor to each of these prime awardees. GSA’s contracts are designed to support the requirements of any federal agency and will provide interoperable, multi-application smart cards that will set the standard for smart card technology and enable government and industry to grow with electronic commerce. The providers will produce microchip-equipped cards capable of supporting multiple applications, such as granting access to computer networks and buildings. The GSA’s contract is the largest commitment to Smart Card technology in the United States to date.
“We’re committed to the broad-scale government deployment of smart cards, which will enhance the efficiency of business processes and increase security through managed authentication for access to government buildings and networks,”
said Mickey Femino, director of the Office of Smart Card Initiatives for the GSA.
“We’re excited to work with the five prime contractors and their subcontractors to develop smart card solutions that are reliable, interoperable and cost-effective.”
Attendees at the conference were provided with a personalized smart card, which not only serves as an identification badge and automatically registers them, but also can be used as a card reader throughout the conference center, allowing them access to conference information and area attractions and giving them the opportunity to use the technology firsthand.
Microsoft also announced today the release to manufacturing of the Windows® for Smart Card Toolkit 1.1 with support for Global Systems for Mobile Communications (GSM) capabilities. The new toolkit allows GSM operators and mobile equipment manufacturers to use familiar Microsoft Windows operating system-based tools to create customizable and enhanced smart card solutions, including mobile commerce solutions, for their mobile phone customers. The Windows for Smart Card Toolkit 1.1 will soon be available free of charge from the Microsoft smart card Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/smartcard/deploy/ .
Windows for Smart Cards provides a standard-based platform that enables secure storage for smart cards used for a variety of purposes, such as secure network authentication, secure corporate transactions, electronic cash and customer loyalty programs. Windows for Smart Cards looks and can act like a credit card, but has built-in intelligence and security so that even a single card can be programmed for a wide variety of uses.
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