The PC/SC Work group, a consortium of computer and smart card companies led by Microsoft Corp., said it has published open specifications to integrate smart cards with personal computers.

The specifications are available at no charge on Microsoft's Web site, at A discussion group has also been set up on the Web site to encourage comments and feedback.

Work group members include Bull CP8, Hewlett-Packard Co., Schlumberger, and Siemens Nixdorf Informationssysteme AG. All are planning to release products that conform to and implement the specifications.

Built on existing industry standards, the specifications are open, platform independent, and application neutral. Interoperability among smart cards and readers is insured.

The specifications will allow developers and programmers to create applications for smart cards and personal computers.

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