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Momentum Builds for Smart Card for Windows

Customers, Technology Partners Showcase Capabilities of Platform at CardTech/SecurTech; Developers Get Preview CDs to Evaluate Performance

REDMOND, Wash. - May 12, 1999 - Microsoft Corp. today announced that, six months after its initial announcement, Smart Card for Windows® is receiving strong support from the smart card industry at the CardTech/SecurTech (CTST) conference being held in Chicago May 11-14. Citing initial customer pilot programs and the increasing number of card manufacturers, systems integrators and software developers that are supporting the platform, Philippe Goetschel, director of Smart Card for Windows, summarized the progress to date as "meeting and even exceeding our own expectations."

In a keynote address delivered today at CTST, Goetschel outlined key milestones for Smart Card for Windows, including the delivery of a prebeta "preview" release of the operating system and tools as part of a two-day Developers' Workshop at the conference. He also indicated that a broad beta release of the first version of Smart Card for Windows would be available within 60 days.

As part of his keynote, Goetschel reviewed several pilot projects, including corporate IT (Merrill Lynch & Company Inc.), medical (Department of Veterans Affairs) and loyalty (Florida State University, ARCO) programs. He also recognized several key smart card industry technology leaders that are demonstrating their own value-added solutions at CTST using Smart Card for Windows as a platform.

"One of the key drivers of next-generation smart cards is the fact that they are increasingly becoming an extension of the traditional Windows environment," Goetschel said. "Customers also want to perform more than one function with cards, and they want those cards to be low cost and not tied to a single programming language or proprietary technology. Smart Card for Windows meets those criteria."

Goetschel commented that while Smart Card for Windows will have broad applicability, Microsoft's initial focus will be on three market categories: corporate IT (secure log-on), medical, and travel and entertainment (including loyalty applications). "We are very pleased by the status of the initial pilots, and we will have many more online as we move closer to a full beta release. We will see a range of IT, personal and medical ID, electronic cash and loyalty applications in the coming months."

Goestchel said the two-day Developers' Workshop would give traditional card developers and integrators the opportunity to test the core code and tools. "Smart Card for Windows is a logical extension to the rich Windows development environment, and we believe that the best way for developers to experience that is by hands-on usage, so they can work with the full suite of Microsoft® Visual Studio® tools."

The platform model of Smart Card for Windows will give all elements of the smart card industry ample opportunity to add value and build on the capabilities of the software. "We intend to respond to the needs of developers and corporate customers by providing great development tools, the best security model, low barriers to entry, and the best possible price/performance."

For more information about Smart Card for Windows, please visit the Microsoft Web site at


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