Microsoft: Single Sign-On Far from Dead

Posted by bink on December 31 2004, 4:40 PM. Posted in Live ID (Passport).

Microsoft on Thursday rushed to put the kibosh on talk that it was abandoning the single sign-on Passport identity management service.

But even as company officials insist that Passport "will be around for a long time," it has become increasingly clear that a series of security-related hiccups has ruined consumer trust in the Web-based tool.

Despite losing a high-profile client [ebay], Adam Sohn, product manager for Passport at Microsoft Corp., maintained a brave front.

"Passport will be around for a long time. We still use it across all our sites and nothing has changed in that regard," Sohn told eWEEK.com. He said the service would continue to provide single sign-on service for millions of MSN Hotmail users and other Microsoft-owned services.

Third-party companies that use Passport will continue to receive support, he added.

"We are committed to providing partners with a secure and flexible authentication service," Sohn said. "eBay's decision is not a reflection of our strategy."

Microsoft also released a brief statement that confirmed a strategic shift in the company's thinking on Passport and removed the .NET directory listing.

Instead of marketing Passport to third-party companies looking for a one-stop shop where personal information is stored and used for online activity, the focus will shift to providing identity management for Microsoft-owned businesses.

"Over the past couple of years, Microsoft learned a lot working with partners and customers and shifted the focus of the service to serve as a great single sign-on solution for consumers of MSN and Microsoft online services, as well as working with close partners where it made sense for both parties," the statement read. Full Story At Source