Today at the GSM World Congress, Microsoft Corp. announced that within three months of the launch of Microsoft Windows for Smart Cards at Cartes 99, it has received orders for over 15 million Windows Powered Smart Cards solutions from card manufacturers. The first companies to use the Windows for Smart Cards operating system include British Telecommunications PLC, which is taking part in a pilot program aimed at bringing one-touch remote network access to mobile workers, and BRED Banque Populaire in France, which will offer a full authentication and security solution for business-to-business Internet commerce. At the conference, Microsoft will demonstrate phone calls on GSM cards using Windows for Smart Cards with customized services for carriers such as e-mail, calendar, stock quotes and other Internet applications.
Microsoft also detailed how Windows Powered Smart Cards will deliver a new family of subscriber identification module (SIM) cards for GSM mobile phones. GSM operators and mobile equipment manufacturers will soon have access to extensive Windows-based tools that will enable customizable and enhanced services for mobile phone customers. Due to the secure file system of Windows for Smart Cards, common API and robust tool-set technology, integrators are already working with Microsoft to enable GSM solutions.
“GSM operators are increasingly seeing the advantage SIM cards bring to their customers, and since its creation Gemplus has been active in producing the most efficient means to bring these solutions to market,” said Bertrand Cambou, chief operating officer for Gemplus SCA. “We have worked with Microsoft to create innovative Windows Powered Smart Cards solutions in a variety of industries and, along with many of our customers, are very attracted to the potential of Windows for Smart Cards entering the GSM market.”
“The Windows for Smart Cards platform is an innovative, customizable tool for GSM carriers that will enable them to add personalization and data-rich features to their services,” said Philippe Goetschel, director of the Smart Card Group at Microsoft. “The demand we have witnessed from GSM carriers has helped us secure contracts for over 15 million Windows Powered Smart Cards solutions to be shipped within the next two years. Many of our customers especially appreciate being able to source the physical cards from multiple card manufacturers. Windows Powered Smart Cards provides complete compatibility for applications because, just like in Windows, the underlying operating system is the same on all card platforms.”
“Sagem is pleased to offer SIM cards built with Microsoft on the Windows for Smart Card platform. Together, we enable our customers to achieve new levels of interoperability and functionality faster and easier than ever before.”
With the Windows for Smart Cards platform, GSM carriers will not only be able to choose from multiple smart card vendors for their solutions, but also will be able to work with the extensive Windows development community to drive innovation and enhance services for customers. Specifically, the Windows for Smart Card Option Pack will allow GSM carriers to do the following:
Customize their own GSM SIM card operating system
Deliver new services by extending Microsoft applications, such as Microsoft Exchange and the Hotmail(R) Web-based e-mail service to mobile phones
Reduce time to market by developing applications for the SIM card using the Microsoft Visual Studio(R) development system
Include PKI functionality and access to Windows from the mobile phone
Microsoft Windows for Smart Cards Solution
Microsoft Windows for Smart Cards is an 8-bit, multi-application operating system for smart cards. It is designed to be a low-cost, easy-to-program platform that runs applications based on the Visual Basic(R) development system and meets the criterion mentioned earlier: extension of the PC environment into smart card use. Windows for Smart Cards uses the same Microsoft Visual Basic development tools used by millions of independent software vendors and in-house corporate developers worldwide. Over 1,500 software developers have been trained worldwide on Windows for Smart Cards, and over 90 independent software development companies are developing applications for Windows for Smart Cards.
Support for GSM is expected to be available in the Microsoft Windows Smart Card Toolkit version 1.1 at the end of the first quarter of 2000. More information is available at .
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