In case you missed it, a couple weeks ago Microsoft and Google announced support for OpenID. If you have a card, a spreadsheet, or password manager that contains your login information for all the web sites you regularly visit, then you might want to check out OpenID.

What is OpenID?

According to the OpenID web site:

OpenID eliminates the need for multiple usernames across different websites, simplifying your online experience.

You get to choose the OpenID Provider that best meets your needs and most importantly that you trust. At the same time, your OpenID can stay with you, no matter which Provider you move to. And best of all, the OpenID technology is not proprietary and is completely free.

For businesses, this means a lower cost of password and account management, while drawing new web traffic. OpenID lowers user frustration by letting users have control of their login. (What is OpenID?)

PC World reports:

OpenID is a free framework that eliminates the need for multiple usernames across different websites. If you have a Microsoft Live Mail account, a Yahoo account, or a Google account, you can log in with those same credentials on other websites like AOL, MySpace, Plaxo, Zoho or Buxfer, without having to create a new account on any of these sites. (Google Moves to OpenID.)

I recently signed up with Verisign’s PIP, but you can get an account with any number of OpenID providers. Or use one of your existing accounts as mentioned above.

Although there are still hurdles to overcome, and some potential downsides, OpenID offers great utility towards a federated login. (See Google Revises its OpenID Implementation to Accept All Relying Parties.)

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