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The Standard: Bio[metrics] Battle

May 23, 2000, 20:04 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Elinor Abreu)

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"...Microsoft (MSFT) plans to integrate biometrics technology into future versions of Windows. While the Microsoft imprimatur will give biometrics a much-needed boost for mainstream acceptance, many in the industry fear that Microsoft's decision to once again develop proprietary standards will fragment the industry and slow adoption."

"While 51 other vendors coalesced around a specification called BioAPI, Microsoft announced May 2 that it is teaming with I/O Software, a member of the BioAPI Consortium, to integrate I/O's Biometric Application Programming Interface, or BAPI, into Windows. Windows could include the technology within two years."

"It freezes the industry until Microsoft actually ships something," says John Wilson, an Intel (INTC) senior architect and technical editor at the BioAPI Consortium Steering Committee. "If buyers wait, then the biometric device makers are at serious risk. They need a revenue stream." Typically enough, Wilson says, Microsoft "wants people to be locked into the Windows environment."

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