The guys over at Live Labs have been busy working away on two Live services, both of which launched at the end of last week.
The first, Security Token Services we posted about a few weeks back when the site was first launched. This service allows users to upload their "Infocard" onto Microsoft servers, as well as providing an SDK for webmasters to leverage the service on their own site.
The second is Relay Service, which seeks to solve the common problem of establishing peer-to-peer connections from behind firewalls by exposing the upcoming Windows Communication Foundation.
The Relay Service provides the communication infrastructure that protects developers from having to create the complex code necessary to achieve seamless connectivity. It allows you to expose a service to the Internet from behind your firewall or NAT.
You can use the Relay Service Software Development Kit (SDK) to implement all of these scenarios. The SDK is a set of libraries and samples to help you use the relay as the intermediary for firewall traversal.
I was at a presentation about these two underlying technologies at a Microsoft EMEA Vista Beta 2 event that took place in the last few days, where the presenter did a great job explaining how all these various frameworks will seek to function in Windows Vista. Definitely a "must follow" area, even if like me you don't understand much of what they are doing.