Microsoft has made one step forward with the evolution of the two-factor authentication technologies associated with the Windows operating system. The efforts that Microsoft has poured into building the Windows Smartcard Framework (WSF) translate into the company’s vision of generalizing the usage of PKI smart cards and tokens. In the past, the Redmond company has focused on delivering smart card minidrivers designed to integrate seamlessly with Smart Card Base CSP and Smart Card KSP. Now, David Cross the
Director of Program Management for Windows Security, announced the availability of the Smart Card
Minidriver Certification program.
“The creation of a certification program for smart card mindirivers and smart cards is one of the key pillars of Microsoft’s Windows Smartcard Framework and part of Microsoft’s ongoing and broader investment in security. The smart card minidriver certification program was developed by Microsoft’s Smart Card Certification Center in the Ireland based European Development Center. The certification program was developed in close cooperation with the smart card industry to ensure an appropriate quality that meets the needs of Microsoft, IHVs and the issuers and users of smart cards,” Cross explained.
Currently, the smart card minidriver certification program is available for X86, X64 and IA64 architectures and for Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Vista. According to Cross, the initiative will create a general quality standard for V5 smart card minidrivers. At the same time, both the minidrivers and the smart card will be eligible to receive the “Works with Windows Vista” logo. Furthermore, Microsoft will also distribute the minidrivers through Windows Update.
“To participate in the program, smart card IHVs should open a Winqual account, review the Windows Logo Requirements for Smart Card Minidrivers, download the Windows Logo Kit (WLK) from, test their card minidrivers against the certification kit in the WLK and submit these drivers through Winqual once the smart card minidriver passes all the tests. The submission and publication of the smart card minidriver can be managed through the Winqual portal. The smart card minidriver specifications, along with certification requirements are available from WHDC,” Cross concluded.
Microsoft, Windows Vista, SmartCard Framework, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Smartcard, Microsoft News