Microsoft to unveil Smart Card OS

Just how small can Windows get? Small enough to fit on a card in your wallet if Microsoft has its way.

Tomorrow, Microsoft will announce a miniaturised version of its Windows operating system for use on smart cards, a company spokeswoman confirmed this afternoon. An announcement regarding a new operating system for smart cards will be made tomorrow at a conference called Cartes 98 in Paris, she said, but refused to give details of what would be discussed.

At the announcement, Microsoft is expected to detail plans for the operating system, which has been written especially to take advantage of the small form factor of smart cards -- credit-card size devices that have embedded processors that can store information and carry out small functions.

The involvement of Microsoft in the smart card realm brings the software giant's software down to the smallest common denominator yet. Already, Microsoft has announced plans to put out versions of Windows -- including Windows CE -- for small devices, such as smart phones, Internet-enabled wrist watches and set-top boxes. At a recent conference in Paris, the company's CEO, Bill Gates, said he envisions a world where Windows would run anywhere software could run.

However, Microsoft has its work cut out for it in the smart card market, where Sun Microsystems's Java technology has already made big inroads. Companies such as IBM are already testing smart card-based software systems for uses such as computer security based on both its own operating system and on the Java platform.

However, most smart card manufacturers will welcome the news that Microsoft has entered the arena, because the Microsoft name could lend credibility to the smart card concept. While smart cards are common in Europe and have been used for many years for telephone calls and other small transactions, they have yet to catch on in a big way in the US.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?