Gemplus, the leading chip card producer, said its card readers have been certified by Microsoft Corp. for use with the Windows 98 and Windows NT operating systems.

The Gemplus GPR400 for laptops and GCR410p for desktops were passed by Microsoft's Windows Hardware Quality Labs as compliant with the PC/SC specifications for connecting personal computers and smart cards.

"Gemplus is now able to provide customers with assurance that its products conform to industry standards that resolve compatibility issues and allow for quicker implementation of smart card technology," said Alexandre Lorenzi, director of Gemplus reader technology. He said the PC/SC convergence "will bring smart cards into the mainstream of information technology and enable a new era of trust and convenience in electronic commerce and enterprise network security."

Gemplus, which with its competitor Schlumberger was among the first to endorse the Smart Cards for Windows operating system initiative last October, "has taken great strides to ensure that smart cards are an extension of the PC environment," said Mike Dusche, Microsoft's director of smart card marketing for Microsoft.

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