Redmond, WA - Microsoft announced today that it was giving up its
effort to control online authentication standards and would join
the multi-lateral Liberty Alliance which has gained support from
a variety of companies including American Express and AOL Time Warner.
Shortly after the announcement Sun Microsystems announced that it
was leaving the Liberty Alliance to support the much touted Passport
services that Microsoft had developed.
"This abandonment of Passport demonstrates a real lack of commitment
on Microsoft's part. We always knew Passport was superior, but just
couldn't get Microsoft to see that," said Scott McNealy, CEO
of Sun, "We suspect Microsoft will block our attempts to further
develop Passport, the service that it so prematurely scuttled. This
blockage is another example of its lack of cooperation and community
McNealy also announced that Passport would be renamed "jeli" and
that it was originally developed by Bill Joy.
Passport allows us to extend our monopoly even further, we decided
that authentication services are much too important to be trusted
to just one company. We have joined the Liberty Alliance in a show
of support for the community effort that we will eventually corrupt
and exploit for our own gain," said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
Consumers have been clamoring for an online authentication and identification
service to hold all their personal and financial information in one
easy to access place. A recent survey of Internet users who haven't
had their credit card information stolen in the past 6 months states
that almost 3% would like a single authentication standard.
Credit card thieves have also supported the effort for a single
standard. "Without a unifying standard or a central repository
of data we must continually develop new methods to purloin this information.
We put our full support behind any standard Microsoft develops," said
CyberPhreak of the Crackers 4llianc3.
In a related announcement the Mozilla project announced that it
would also be developing its own authentication standards called
Mozdentify and forecasted version .989 would be ready in 2026.
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