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AOL turns on OpenID for 63 million users

AOL's John Panzer announced on Wednesday, "Every AOL/AIM user now has at least one OpenID URI", giving a giant push towards widespread adoption of the decentralized Internet ID system. Just a few days ago, Bill Gates announced Microsoft will also support version 2.0 of the OpenID as well, a sign that Microsoft may be ready to admit its own Passport ID is a failure.

It's exceptional news that has gone mostly unnoticed on the public screen. We're not talking about pie in the sky, "we might adopt it one day" rhetoric. AOL has turned up full and working support for OpenID with a grand total of over 63 million users. There's a lot of good to AOL's full implementation, and as some remind us, a bit of potential for bad. What if you don't want an OpenID, or don't want to use AOL as your OpenID provider? AOL's Panzer responds, "My take is, if you don't actually use the OpenID URL, it doesn't really exist. The same way a Wiki page doesn't exist until you edit it. On the other hand, having people go in and kick the tires to uncover issues is exactly why we're talking about this."

The reality is, both sides have a point. If OpenID is to succeed we'll have quite a few bumps and arguments along the way. What's important at this stage is progress. For OpenID to be a success on any level, widespread adoption by the big players is incredibly important. A slew of 63 million users is substantial added traction towards the groundswell that OpenID will need in a not-too-far off future.

See also : Microsoft will support OpenID

Tags: news, openID