Kim Cameron, digital-identity expert, leaves Microsoft

Kim Cameron, digital-identity expert, leaves Microsoft

Summary: Kim Cameron, a Microsoft Distinguished Engineer and Chief Architect of Identity, left Microsoft as of May 4.

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Kim Cameron, a Microsoft Distinguished Engineer and Chief Architect of Identity, left Microsoft as of May 4, according to my contacts.

Cameron is known for authoring the well-known and -regarded  "Laws of Identity" principles. He has been a champion of user-centric identity architecture at the company, and guided Microsoft's identity work in Active Directory, Federation Services, Forefront and CardSpace. He was working on Microsoft's Next Generation Active Directory (NGAD), a federation service designed to enable users to federate directories across the phone, the PC and the cloud.

There are a number of tweets reporting Cameron's departure. One of my sources said there was a goodbye part for him in Redmond yesterday. I've asked Microsoft to confirm it officially and for comment as to whether there are plans to replace him. No word back so far.

Update (May 9): A Microsoft spokesperson said the company had no comment. But here's one Microsoft employee's blog post noting Cameron's retirement.

Microsoft announced it was doing away with CardSpace in February of this year. CardSpace, which got its start as “Windows InfoCard,” was an attempt to represent an individual’s digital identity that the user could use to communicate with a third-party entity.

Microsoft's Identity group is in the midst of management flux. Corporate Vice President Lee Nackman, who joined Microsoft in 2009, has been Corporate Vice President, Directory, Access, and Information Protection, is giving up his role and -- last we heard -- moving into a new role as head of the billing and provisioning parts of Microsoft's Online Services organization. The company is in the midst of a search for a replacement for Nackman.

Cameron joined Microsoft in 1999 as part of Microsoft's ZoomIt Corp. acquisition. According to his Microsoft biography, "as VP of Technology at ZoomIt, (Cameron) invented metadirectory technology and built the first shipping product."

Last year, another of Microsoft's high-profile identity leaders, Dick Hardt, left the company after just over a year at Microsoft.

News of Cameron's departure occurred on the day that the Windows Live team announced plans to support OAuth 2.0 in the next version of its developer platform, Messenger Connect. OAuth 2.0, an IETF specification for a set of Internet authentication technologies.

Topics: Software, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Windows

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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16 comments
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  • RE: Kim Cameron, digital-identity expert, leaves Microsoft

    Good luck with your future ventures I guess. He's leaving but not one word as to why. It could be he's got an offer to do something he wants to do. I wish him much success.
    mrvee@...
    • RE: Kim Cameron, digital-identity expert, leaves Microsoft

      @mrvee@...

      Bad sales???
      http://www.pcworld.com/article/227229/windows_phone_7_shipments_barely_a_blip_on_the_radar.html
      Sultansulan
      • RE: Kim Cameron, digital-identity expert, leaves Microsoft

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      • RE: Kim Cameron, digital-identity expert, leaves Microsoft

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    • RE: Kim Cameron, digital-identity expert, leaves Microsoft

      @mrvee@... Unfortunately I think Microsoft will burn through a lot of good people before they finally address the real issue and cut Ballmer out. While you can say these people leaving has nothing to do with MS policies and marketing...happy people with long histories of serving the same company don't just quit and go to other companies without reason. I have no doubt that many of the old timers are unhappy with where MS is going.
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      • RE: Kim Cameron, digital-identity expert, leaves Microsoft

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      • RE: Kim Cameron, digital-identity expert, leaves Microsoft

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    • RE: Kim Cameron, digital-identity expert, leaves Microsoft

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  • RE: Kim Cameron, digital-identity expert, leaves Microsoft

    Unsurprising and disappointing at the same time. I'm a big fan of Kim and what he accomplished around digital identity, especially giving us a way to talk about it and understand what the essential provisions have to be.
    It will be a great loss if we no longer have his incisive thinking on whatever he turns his attention to. His striving for open treatment of identity has been of immeasurable benefit to the industry, whether fully appreciated in his home organization or not.
    orcmid
  • All the best to you, Kim

    Always admired your work, and you helped lift MS profile in identity/privacy tremendously. I hope this has nothing to do with MS decision to ditch infocard. I always though that was a technology with a lot of promise.
    honeymonster
  • Did he do any work on Credential Manager

    With his in depth work on identity especially for something like AD, I wouldn't be surprised.
    Mr. Dee
  • Nothing to read here, now move along please. Nothing to ...

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    There's nothing to the fact that so many key figures and long term employees at Microsoft have left the company in the past 12 months; so move along please.

    There's nothing to read here so move along please, move along.
    BlueCollarCritic
  • RE: Kim Cameron, digital-identity expert, leaves Microsoft

    For the man who codified identity and created a world market for competitors like Oracle, CA, Courion and IBM, the very best of luck. I hope that Microsoft's de-investment in identity gives you the opportunity to shine again elsewhere.
    MetaconomyCEO
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