A First Look at Microsoft InfoCard
The Web can be annoying at times. I'm certain that I'm not alone in my frustration with filling out the same old forms on every Web site I visit. Like most other techies, I've acquired many tools over the years to help combat this repetition, and I even wrote my own password manager for my hundreds of different identities on the Web. To me this constant repetition is simply an annoyance, but to someone like my mom, it can be very confusing, and often confusion can lead to security vulnerabilities, such as using the same password everywhere.
Not only is this forced fragmentation of identity on the Web annoying, it's also really limiting the Web's potential. In this column, I'll introduce you to a system that I truly hope will be a uniting force for identity on the Web. It's called InfoCard, and it's planned to be available with Windows Vista™.
I am going to talk about InfoCard purely in the domain of Web services, because that's the only place you can use the prerelease bits as I write this column (see Microsoft Federated Identity and Access Resource Kit for Sept 2005 Community Technology Preview). But in the future it will also work with browser-centric Web apps. I've used Thawte and eBay as concrete examples because they're familiar. These examples are entirely fictitious—whether or not Thawte or eBay decides to implement InfoCard is entirely up to them. Security Briefs: A First Look at InfoCard -- MSDN Magazine, April 2006
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