OpenID and the critical mass

Even while it isn’t real news, being known for some time, it is an important announcement: Yahoo will support OpenID. All 289 million users may use OpenID beginning end of this month as an ID to access other OpenID websites as well – like this blog. This is definitely a breakthrough for OpenID as approach for an universal identifier in the internet. Even while it will take some time for adoption through the Yahoo user’s and for support of OpenID on other websites this announcement is a major step towards the critical mass which is required for broad adoption of any new standard and technology.

And, an interesting coincidence, I heard these days some interesting rumors that there will be some major announcements about Microsoft CardSpace/Infocard implementations soon. No more details right now – but it proves the increasing interest in the technologies of user-centric identity management.

I might still take some time from these announcements to achieve the critical mass for a broad adoption of these both technologies. But it is obvious to me that user-centric identity management is close to the predicted success. Thus everyone should think about the implications for himself personally as well as for his business. User-centric identity management is a business technology, with implications going far beyond of what most people expect today to happen (how about your corporate internet business card?).

By the way: Between writing and posting this blog entry Google announced OpenID support as well. Even while limited to their Blog tool it seems like OpenID support is starting to become a differentiator between competitors. That’s definitely a good sign for the future of user-centric Identity Management.



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