Companies all over the world are spending quite a great deal of money writing authentication systems that are secure but simple, and that's not an easy task. The problem is, as soon as we put passwords on things, people have to remember them. And therein lies the weakness; we humans forget. Microsoft think its about time we started using smart cards, and not using passwords any more at all.
"We're moving towards to biometrics and smart cards... We're finally seeing leading edge customers taking that step." - Bill Gates.
Bill also heralds 64-bit computing as the way forward for IT (no suprise there!) saying that the final testing stages of a 64-bit Windows were underway and that internally it is already being widely used.