Microsoft in the coming months will roll out test versions of its latest operating system—code-named Longhorn—and its newest browser, which includes new approaches users can take to protect their identities online, safely swap data, and defend their PCs against software that can steal personal information. The technology is known as Info-cards, which the paper says will let computer users selectively disclose information about themselves to businesses or others online. Info-cards store personal information, and allows user to send and receive the data in an encrypted form that can be decoded only by trusted Web sites.
As usual this is skimpy on details but one nagging thought got stuck in the back of my head. Considering the increased use of web based applications and what that means to Microsoft, the logical choice is to fight back with non-standard APIs. I think that this specific technology is probably the coming harbinger of what will end up looking like a set of non-standard, Microsoft-only technologies seeking to further tie down users into using Windows – note that this technology is meant for exchanging data with websites. So unless they are using some obscure W3C standard, this reeks of patents and closed standards.