February 7th, 2008

Beyond the Forest: OpenID adds Microsoft, Google, Verisign and IBM


With the wealth of OpenID thought here in the Silicon Forest---thanks to folks like JanRain and, soon, Vidoop---any efforts surrounding OpenID are likely to have a significant impact on our tech scene. When you add names like Microsoft, Google, Verisign, and IBM, [Update: And Yahoo! says Scott Kveton] (I linked all of those, in case you haven't heard of these folks) that purported impact becomes a foregone conclusion. With today's announcement, you can rest assured that if you're in tech, OpenID will affect you. No question. Scott Kveton, Chair of the OpenID Foundation, has a great roundup post on all of the folks covering this announcement. Some of the highlights? Portland's own Marshall Kirkpatrick advises that the news, while momentous, should be taken with a grain of salt:
All of that said, big vendors have a lot of short term interest in controlling identity silos. It won't be easy to get their long term interests in openness to prevail. Fortunately, they are participating but are in the minority on the OpenID Foundation board.
Allen Stern of CenterNetworks (Who, as luck would have it, recently featured a brilliant and insightful article on the Silicon Forest... Um. Ahem. Where was I?) maintains that, despite these heavy hitters, the problem for OpenID to solve remains less technical and more educational:
I continue to stand firm that what OpenID needs is marketing more than technology. Yahoo's implementation of YahooID last week is a good move towards adoption of OpenID across the Web.
And Michael Arrington of TechCrunch offers that for all the excitement, how "openly" the solution is implemented will be the true test of the commitment of these tech giants:
But it’s not clear that any of them are in a hurry to become a “relying party” (allowing users with third party OpenIDs to log in to their sites). OpenID looks like it’s going to be a winner, so big companies making their user accounts OpenID compatible is a good hedge. Everyone, of course, wants to be an ID issuer, since they get to “own” the user. Less attractive is allowing users from other sites to log into your services, so don’t expect that functionality to come for some time.
From the vantage point here in Portland---especially with our wealth of OpenID expertise here---I maintain that this could herald the start of a very important upswing for our community. One in which Portland and its OpenID providers have the opportunity take a leading role on an international stage. I, for one, am anxious to watch this story develop.

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One Response to “Beyond the Forest: OpenID adds Microsoft, Google, Verisign and IBM”

  1. kveton says:

    You should add that Yahoo! is also included in this release as well … that makes it 25% cooler … :-)

    - Scott Kveton
    OpenID Foundation & Vidoop


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