What is it with this company? Half of what they produce doesn't work and the other half we don't want or is worse than we already have?
Microsoft has a new security product, Cardspace. The aim is to do for online credit card transactions what chip and pin have done for cardholder present frauds.
A major card issuer is preparing to announce its support for Microsoft's new identity security system, Cardspace, in the new year, along with "a major consumer retail site", Microsoft said this week.
The company is also at the early stages of working out how the technology could be used to secure the UK's Government Gateway for tax and VAT filings.
Cardspace, the brainchild of Microsoft's Kim Cameron and others, is the latest proposal from Redmond for how to solve the problem of securing identity online. (It is bundled in Vista, and XP users can get hold of it through the automatic updates.)
Microsoft says the system will do for online credit card fraud what chip and PIN has done for cardholder present fraud. In a country where an estimated five per cent of all online transactions are fraudulent, that could have a significant impact.
As the major effect of chip and pin has been to put the onus of paying for a fraud onto the card holder rather than the bank, this Cardspace system might not be an unalloyed blessing.