Monday, December 06, 2004

Why Passport failed UPDATE 12/7

Ping ID's Eric Norlin comments on Kim Cameron's 3rd law include the idea that Microsoft's Passport may have failed as a generalized identity system simply because it was hosted by Microsoft, not by some other third party ("people wouldn't accept it because of the microsoft stigma").

Cameron replies that "There are somewhere near 200 million active Passport accounts." But these are people who are already dealing with Microsoft - with MSN or Hotmail, for example. There are many, many people to whom any of those services are anathema. Passport was doomed from the start.

Both Kim and Eric also appear to equate the somewhat open source Sxip network with Passport but there is a major difference. Sxip itself does not hold users' identity data. Rather, it acts as a verification and validation service for third party servers which hold users' identity data. Its a different way of approaching the same problem, but its far too early to tell if it will get any traction.

UPDATE: Dick Hardt (of SXIP) has just posted a look at Passport from a vendor's perspective (he attempted to implement it at ActiveState) and demonstrates why it got no traction on that end, either.

Please read my post on SXIP - it clearly differentiates SXIP from passport.
Perhaps I was a bit too facile in saying you & Norlin "equated" SXIP to Passport, but it really is just Passport with another layer of indirection, n'est-ce pas?
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