MS Live Labs Offers Web-based Authentication Service
Two new security-themed projects have been added to Microsoft's Live Labs research stable.
The two beta projectsMicrosoft Live Labs Security Token Service and Microsoft Live Labs Relay Serviceindicate a big push by the Redmond, Wash., software vendor to churn out experiments in computer security field.
Live Labs, launched in January 2006 as a new Microsoft research facility for developing "Internet-centric" features, is headed by former Yahoo researcher Dr. Gary Flake.
According to documentation released by Microsoft, the new Security Token Service is an online identity management service that allows users and site owners to offload authentication functions.
It is not quite clear how the Security Token Service differs from Windows Live ID, which succeeded the MSN Passport Network service.
Microsoft now uses Windows Live ID to serve as the authentication system for Windows Live, Office Live, Xbox Live, MSN and other Microsoft online services.
The beta lets users register a personal, virtual information card and then, when a visit is made to a participating Web site or service that supports Microsoft's "InfoCard" initiative, the user is allowed to sign in to the Web site using your information card.
"If you are a Web site or Web service owner, you can also register your site or service to use security tokens issued by this Security Token Service," Microsoft explained.
The service requires the use of Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 and the WinFX Runtime Components Beta 2.
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