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Microsoft IDís New InfoCard In May

Jason Lee Miller
Staff Writer
Published: 2005-05-18

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Do you have a special running list of user names and passwords? Can you remember them all? Microsoft is addressing this problem with a glimpse of new software codenamed "InfoCard" for Windows, to help narrow down Internet logins.

By the end of this month, Microsoft will provide software developers a technical preview of InfoCard, including other technologies designed to make digital identities easier and safer.

"One of the big challenges that people face today is that there are many different kinds of identity systems," said John Shewchuk, an architect in Microsoft's distributed systems group.

Designed to provide secure identity information storage that is sharable among various online services, InforCard is a new pass at an old idea. In 1999, Microsoft released Passport with similar functions that failed, in large part, due to the inability of users to manage it themselves.

"It makes it supereasy for the end user to pick among their different kinds of credentials," Shewchuk said.

Online businesses will not need to know credit card numbers, only the InfoCard ID, which will automatically route payment to financial institutions upon the user's authorization.

Microsoft says that websites will have to widely adopt InfoCard before the concept will work well.

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About the Author:
Jason L. Miller is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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