Microsoft today announced the acquisition of Credentica’s online privacy enhancing technology, U-Prove:
Today is an exciting day for privacy and Trustworthy Computing at Microsoft. One of the main objectives of Microsoft’s privacy strategy is to provide our customers with more control over the collection and use of their personal information. Today we unveiled the acquisition of an important privacy-enhancing technology that aligns very well with this objective. Microsoft has acquired Credentica’s U-Prove technology for private and secure identity and access management, together with all of the underlying patents invented by Dr. Stefan Brands. This technology can, among other things, enable people to prove things about themselves without needing to reveal their identity.
Credentica’s U-Prove technology will help people protect their identities by enabling them to disclose only the minimum amount of information needed for a transaction – sometimes no personal information may be needed at all. When this technology is broadly available in Microsoft products (such as Windows Communication Foundation and Windows Cardspace), enterprises, governments, and consumers all stand to benefit from the enhanced security and privacy that it will enable. We look forward to a world where people have more control of their personal information and are better protected from harms of online fraud and identity theft. Stefan Brands has now joined Microsoft’ Identity & Access Group along with his colleagues Christian Paquin, and Greg Thompson.
No terms were announced. For more details on U-Prove and the rationale behind the acquisition, check out Stephan Brands’ blog post on the acquisition.
The day has finally come: Windows Vista is going gold. And the public announcement that Windows Vista has been released to manufacturing is going to happen tomorrow, November 8, around 11 a.m. PST, sources close to the company are saying.
The main course must be close, because yesterday we got the appetizers as Microsoft released the .NET Framework 3.0, Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Office for the 2007 Microsoft Office system, ASP.NET AJAX and Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Compact Edition:
The technologies announced today include the following:
• The release to manufacturing of Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0, which provides advances for building rich, interactive client applications (Windows Presentation Foundation), communication and workflow (Windows Communication Foundation and Windows Workflow Foundation) and online identity management (Windows CardSpace).
• The availability to MSDN® Premium subscribers of Windows Vista and the 2007 Microsoft Office system on release to manufacturing.
• The availability of Visual Studio 2005 extensions for the .NET Framework 3.0, a series of plug-ins and project templates that enable developers to use Visual Studio 2005 to build .NET Framework 3.0 solutions.
• The release to manufacturing of Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Office for the 2007 Microsoft Office system to build solutions for the six major applications in the 2007 Microsoft Office system: Office Word, Office Excel®, Office Outlook®, Office PowerPoint®, Office Visio® and Office InfoPath®. Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Office for the 2007 Microsoft Office system enables developers to build scalable, robust line-of-business applications that leverage the functionality of the 2007 Microsoft Office system.
• The release candidate of Microsoft SQL Server™ 2005 Compact Edition, a new offering for essential relational database functionality in a compact footprint. By sharing a familiar SQL Server syntax and common ADO.NET programming model with other editions of SQL Server, SQL Server Compact Edition allows developers and administrators to apply their existing skills and be immediately productive. The release candidate is available via download at http://www.microsoft.com/sql/compact.
All of the above are available now. Still in the oven however is SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 2 (SP2) for which a new Community Technology Preview (CTP) was released yesterday. It’s required for Vista because, as mentioned here previously, it provides SQL Server Express Edition which replaces the Microsoft Desktop Engine (MSDE) used by some Microsoft and 3rd party applications, but which is not supported on Vista.
Ensuring Vista application compatibility isn’t glamorous, but it’s critical for rapid Vista uptake (particularly in large organizations) and Microsoft is trying to ease the pain with the release candidate of the Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) 5 which was just posted.
Back in September, I compared Microsoft’s Avalon (WPF) and Indigo (WCF) demo application Microsoft Max to one of those glitzy concept cars that automakers are always wheeling out, but which never appear in the product line. Apparently the comparison was more apt than I realized since Max has just wheeled off into the sunset. Dare Obasanjo points to a post at the Max team blog titled “Thank you: the Max project has concluded” which breaks the news:
Thanks to your participation, we were able to accomplish the goals of the Max project—to get customer feedback on new ways to approach software and services. If you’re interested in seeing where we go with these ideas, keep your eye on Windows Live.
Starting today, we will be disabling all downloads from our website. In the next week, we will be shutting down the Max services and our team forums. At that time, you will no longer be able to sign in to Max or share lists of photos with your friends. You will still be able to read news and browse the lists you’ve already shared and received.
I expect there will be some grumbling.
There are still developers protesting Microsoft’s renaming of WinFX as .NET 3.0, but it is proceeding in step with Windows Vista and Release Candidate 1 was released last week and can be downloaded here:
The Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 (formerly known as WinFX), is the new managed code programming model for Windows. It combines the power of the .NET Framework 2.0 with new technologies for building applications that have visually compelling user experiences, seamless communication across technology boundaries, and the ability to support a wide range of business processes. These new technologies are Windows Presentation Foundation, Windows Communication Foundation, Windows Workflow Foundation, and Windows CardSpace (formerly code named “Infocard”). Microsoft plans to ship .NET Framework 3.0 as part of the Windows Vista operating system. In addition, Microsoft is making these technologies available on Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. The following Community Technology Preview of .NET Framework 3.0 enables you to continue experimenting with early builds of these technologies, get acquainted with the development experience, and provide feedback to Microsoft.
Please note that the License Agreement in this pre-release version of the .NET Framework v3.0 does not allow usage in a live operating environment. Information about Go-Live possibilities can be found here.
This release supports Visual Studio 2005 RTM and is compatible with 2007 Microsoft Office system Beta 2 Technical Refresh.
I suppose I should update my categories – I’m still calling them Avalon, Indigo, and Infocard. Also to get up to speed, there’s David Chappell’s new MSDN paper, Introducing the .NET Framework 3.0.