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Microsoft will support OpenID

OpenIDBill Gates made a surprise announcement Tuesday during his keynote at the RSA security conference: Microsoft will support OpenID 2.0. Great, but what's OpenID?

You know how every time you sign up for a new web service, you have to create a username and password? And you know how you're always worried that you'll forget your login information, so you wind up using pretty much the same password for most sites? And then you get all worried that someone at one site could find a way into your bank records, so you start creating variation until you can't remember which password goes with which site.

If you're someone who regularly has to click the "forgot password" link on web sites, OpenID is made for you. It's a system that allows you to login to mulitiple web sites with a single username and password, which is actually a personalized URL that securely stores your user information. OpenID is the free and open source invention of Brad Fitzpatrick, creator of LiveJournal.

OpenID would also seem to be competition for Microsoft's Passport system, which works primarily with Microsoft sites. Microsoft is the largest company so far to announce support for OpenID, which currently works with sites including LiveJournal, Zooomr, and Vox.

[via Thomas Hawk]

Tags: authentication, bill gates, BillGates, news, openid, password, username