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Microsoft and VeriSign Develop PKI Platform for Enterprise Customers

Microsoft and VeriSign Teaming Up to Provide Next-Generation Security Solutions for Enterprise Customers

Windows Server 2003 and VeriSign Trust Network to Ease Certificate Deployment and Management for a Range of PKI Services

Dallas TX, USA. June 3, 2003.

Today at Microsoft TechEd, Microsoft Corp. and VeriSign Inc., the leading provider of critical infrastructure services for the Internet and telecommunications networks, jointly announced plans to develop and deliver a series of next-generation security solutions for enterprise customers.

Built on Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and VeriSign's Managed PKI Services, this next-generation public key infrastructure (PKI) platform is expected to allow enterprises to deploy and manage secure communications and digital identity management solutions more easily, with seamless interoperability across heterogeneous systems and enterprise networks. The effort is aimed at delivering security solutions that address key enterprise security needs, such as strong authentication for remote access. It would also address emerging requirements, such as allowing roaming users to securely access wireless local area networks (LANs).

The next-generation security solutions are expected to become available in late 2003.

"Improving the trustworthiness of our products and enabling our customers to leverage the full potential of their technology is a top priority for Microsoft," said Scott Charney, chief trustworthy computing strategist at Microsoft. "The release of Windows Server 2003, with its increased security and reliability, is an important first deliverable in the Trustworthy Computing initiative. Those security innovations, combined with our collaboration with VeriSign, are expected to enable enterprises to more easily utilize and manage the security capabilities of new and existing technology in ways that were previously unavailable."

"Seamless integration with the Microsoft Windows platform has always been a key feature of our services and an important part of our strategy to meet the needs of our customers with flexibility," said Judy Lin, executive vice president of the security services business unit at VeriSign. "By combining Microsoft's strength in software with our world-class managed services, we can deliver compelling and secure solutions to customers."

Ease of Deployment

Initial work will focus on utilizing the certificate auto-enrollment capabilities in Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP to develop a simple-to-deploy service that can take advantage of a range of PKI enhancements. Automating the issuance and renewal of digital certificates to users allows customers to facilitate new secure usage scenarios, such as confidential and secure e-mail, file protection and digital signatures, which enable tamper-proof and legally binding transactions. The service would also support secure access to corporate networks through wireless LANs, virtual private networks (VPNs) and other applications.


A second initiative is expected to focus on interoperability services to enable enterprises to federate trust, extending internal PKI capabilities beyond the corporate network. This would allow enterprises to extend their secure commerce and communications infrastructure beyond the perimeter and enable applications such as secure e-mail, messaging, form signing and secure network access across enterprises.

Increased Security

Enterprises can benefit from Microsoft's ability to embed PKI seamlessly into desktop applications and from VeriSign's expertise in defining, deploying and operating highly scalable and secure PKI solutions. As a pioneer in Internet security, VeriSign also provides SSL certificates, which enable secure e-commerce. In addition, VeriSign manages PKI implementations for thousands of enterprise customers.

Ubiquitous Integration

Finally, the effort is expected to enable enterprises to take advantage of the ubiquitous desktop application and back-office integration that is an important component of Windows Server 2003. This functionality seamlessly integrates the certificate provisioning and life-cycle management with Windows XP-based desktops, Active Directory, Exchange and Internet Authentication Server.

Microsoft and VeriSign also plan to collaborate in the future on several longer-term initiatives to address the proliferation of e-mail spam, enabling services for Windows Rights Management and services that use WS-Security-compliant technologies.

About VeriSign

VeriSign Inc. (Nasdaq "VRSN") delivers critical infrastructure services that make the Internet and telecommunications networks more intelligent, reliable and secure. Every day VeriSign helps thousands of businesses and millions of consumers connect, communicate and transact with confidence. Additional news and information about the company is available at

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software - any time, any place and on any device.

Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. See also "XML Digital Signature (Signed XML - IETF/W3C)." General references in "XML and Digital Rights Management (DRM)."

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