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InCommon Provides Online Identity Management Platform for Microsoft DreamSpark Program

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  • From: "Lauren Rotman" <>
  • To: <>
  • Subject: InCommon Provides Online Identity Management Platform for Microsoft DreamSpark Program
  • Date: Tue, 20 May 2008 08:52:23 -0400

InCommon Provides Online Identity Management Platform for Microsoft
DreamSpark Program

U.S. Identity Federation Allows Students to Access Microsoft DreamSpark
Program Without Releasing Personal Information

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - May 20, 2008 - InCommon(R), the first nationwide U.S.
identity management federation for higher education, and Microsoft Corp.
today announced that InCommon's platform will be the preferred verification
method for U.S. students to access software in Microsoft's DreamSpark
program. Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft, announced the DreamSpark
offering at a special event held at Stanford University in February.
DreamSpark provides professional development and design tools free of charge
to students in ten countries around the world.

"Microsoft's participation in the InCommon Federation provides us with a
more seamless and scalable pathway to collaborating with our important
university partners," said Jim Pinkelman, director of U.S. Academic
Relations for Microsoft. "We look forward to working with the Federation to
engage members of the university community in a new way by extending a more
user- and privacy-friendly environment that can provide access to a wider
array of Microsoft's online resources."

The InCommon Federation is a non-profit initiative of Internet2 which serves
the U.S. higher education sector. The Federation has close to two million
users at over 80 higher education institutions and service providers and
continues to rapidly expand. The InCommon Federation works by linking a
resource provider's online system to a partner university's identity
management system. When a student logs into the resource provider site, they
are asked for their university credentials. The university system is then
able to "vouch for" or "authenticate" the student, staff, or faculty to
enable their access to that online resource without releasing an
individual's personal information. Personal information release can be
adjusted and controlled easily, based on the partnership between the
university and the online resource.

In this case, students interested in downloading software available through
the DreamSpark program, which includes Visual Studio 2008 Professional
Edition, Microsoft Expression Studio, Windows Server Standard Edition, and
Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Developer Edition, will have their student status
verified by participating InCommon universities. Microsoft's DreamSpark will
confirm the students' enrollment status by redirecting students to log into
their home university, which will, in turn, pass the "student" attribute on
to DreamSpark.

"With so many resources online and available to the university community
today, the ability to provide a wide array of services while controlling
privacy for our students and faculty has become a paramount concern within
higher education," said Lois Brooks, Stanford University's director of
academic computing and vice-chair of the InCommon Federation steering
committee. "Microsoft's participation in the InCommon Federation represents
a major step forward in helping to realize the vision of federated identity
management. This framework allows us to create more robust alliances with
providers like Microsoft to share protected online information and Web
resources in a security-enhanced environment while helping protect the
privacy of our campus users."

For additional information on the Microsoft DreamSpark offer and InCommon,

About Microsoft
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in
software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize
their full potential.

About InCommon(R)
The InCommon Federation, an initiative operated by Internet2, provides
higher education institutions and their sponsored resource partners with
unparalleled privacy, security, and scalability for accessing protected
online resources. InCommon is an identity and access management federation,
enabling participants to become part of an association of organizations that
agrees on a set of attributes and policies to exchange information about
their users for access to restricted resources. As a not-for-profit LLC,
InCommon is operated by Internet2 and governed by an independent Steering
Committee representing the higher education and research community. For more
information, visit

Media Contact:
Lauren Rotman


Rapid Response Team, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide for Microsoft


  • InCommon Provides Online Identity Management Platform for Microsoft DreamSpark Program, Lauren Rotman, 05/20/2008

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