Beyond Windows CardSpace

For several years Microsoft has advocated the claims based identity model for more secure access and use of online applications and services. With enhancements to our existing platform, such as Active Directory Federation Services 2.0 and Windows Identity Foundation, we’ve made progress in that initiative.  Claims-based identity is used widely inside Microsoft and is now part of many Microsoft products, such as SharePoint, Office 365, Dynamics CRM, and Windows Azure.


Microsoft has been a leading participant in the identity community and an active contributor to emerging identity standards.  We have increased our commitment to standardization activities and added support into our products for the SAML 2.0, OpenID 2.0, OAuth WRAP and OAuth 2.0 protocols.


There is one component of our identity portfolio where we have recently decided to make a change.  Windows CardSpace was initially released and developed before the pervasive use of online identities across multiple services. Perhaps more importantly, we released the user component before we and others had delivered the tools for developers and administrators to easily create claims-ready services. The identity landscape has changed with the evolution of tools and cloud services.  Based on the feedback we have received from partners and beta participants, we have decided not to ship Windows CardSpace 2.0.


Claims-based identity remains a central concept for Microsoft’s identity strategy, and its role in our overall strategy continues to grow. Furthermore, we are not abandoning the idea of a user agent for exchanging claims. As part of our work on claims-based identity we are releasing a new technology preview of U-Prove. This release of U-Prove will take the form of a user agent that takes account of cloud computing realities and takes advantage of the high-end security and privacy capabilities within the extended U-Prove cryptographic technology.

Comments (4)

  1. Marcus Lasance says:

    Why such an important announcement in such an obscure place? Signed by who at Microsoft? Who takes responsibility for killing of a hen with the potential to lay so many goden eggs for Microsoft?

    Craig Burton echoed the sentiments of many when he wrote in his blog

    Let me prove my point about how poorly Microsoft behaves concerning this matter. Microsoft and other vendors put hundreds of thousands of dollars into a non-profit organization—the Information Card Foundation—to independently promote the use of the Identity Metasystem. Yet, Microsoft didn’t even bother to let the ICF board know it was going to announce the discontinued development of CardSpace until AFTER the press release was distributed. Now that’s leadership?

  2. Too bad that I am seeing this thread five month late…

    Still, I predicted this to happen three years in advance. See…/a8e7761d-1773-46c0-b01d-560adcb860fa

  3. Michael Freidgeim says:

    Is it correct, that cardspace is retired? There are still official pages om MS site(e.g.…/Windows-CardSpace).

    according to…/U-Prove%20CTP%20White%20Paper.pdf

    Windows CardSpace 2.0. will be extended to use the U-Prove protocol.

  4. Looooooka says:

    This is probably going to die.

    They seem to create projects which people are actually willing to use but don't actually push them hard enough.

    Meanwhile sites are using facebook to log users into their services…when clearly claims from a user selected provider would be a better way of doing thigs.

    And i keep seeing "intelectual property" and minimal disclosure in topics about u-prove. If they're trying to be another cloud based identity and claims provider like Mozilla(they just rolled something out this month)…this is another fail.

    It's clear that all these companies are trying to make us depend on their services…even if it's just for logins and claims.

    I hope all of them come up with something that works on all platforms and isn't bound to a particular company.

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