Microsoft snaps German Authentication Firm, Credentica

Waiting for the main course makes people hungry, which is probably why Microsoft has acquired a second company in as many weeks; after purchasing an Israel-based ad targeting startup last week, they grabbed a German company called Credentica.

Microsoft will integrate Credentica's U-Prove technology in its Windows Communication Foundation and Windows Cardspace for an undisclosed sum; conditions have not been disclosed as well.

According to, using U-Prove will help Microsoft release disclose only relevant data to third parties about their users when they purchase goods and services; this will strengthen privacy policy and limit fraud.

The technology relies on cryptography to hide data from potential criminals and data collectors and is considered by many - including Microsoft's chief architect of identity and access - as the equivalent of RSA in the privacy space.

It will be interesting to see how Microsoft could potentially deal with regards to the ever-popular OpenID solution; Centrica did reveal back in August 2007 that they would not be working with the OpenID solution citing the fact that OpenID was designed as a 'lightweight solution for “trivial” use cases in identity management'.