Windows Live ID crucial to Microsoft's future

Windows Live ID crucial to Microsoft's future

Summary: CNET's Martin LaMonica wrote an article yesterday about how Microsoft's Live online services "don't end at Windows Live ID will be a central part of Microsoft's strategic shift towards Live Services and integrated desktop/Web apps the Web browser", but "extend deep into Windows". This is based on the recent release of software for embedding Windows Live ID authentication services within Windows applications.

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TOPICS: Windows
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windows_live_id.jpgCNET's Martin LaMonica wrote an article yesterday about how Microsoft's Live online services "don't end at Windows Live ID will be a central part of Microsoft's strategic shift towards Live Services and integrated desktop/Web apps the Web browser", but "extend deep into Windows". This is based on the recent release of software for embedding Windows Live ID authentication services within Windows applications. Windows Live ID is the next version of its web-based identity service, Passport - and it looks likely to be more useful than Passport ever was because of the Web-desktop integration that is now starting to appear. It's not an exaggeration to say that Microsoft's future lies in the desktop-Web balance, because Microsoft needs to tie its existing OS/desktop software platform into the Internet in a big way - to ward off Google and other Internet companies. 

Windows Live ID is going to be a crucial link between the two worlds of desktop and Web. Indeed, Microsoft is at the forefront of the "Identity 2.0" movement. Its Microsoft Meta Identity Standard aims to make digital identity systems interoperable. Plus Microsoft has an upcoming open ID product called InfoCard, which will be available in Vista.

There's an SDK coming for Windows Live ID later in the year, but for now it works with Microsoft's web apps such as Windows Live Mail and Windows Live Messenger. Where the SDK will really come into play is the integration between Windows Live services and the existing Windows desktop apps. LaMonica wrote:

"With the developer's kit, called Windows Live ID Client SDK, Microsoft is seeking to create closer integration between its Web-based hosted services and "rich client" Windows applications, Ayres said.

For example, a developer could write a Windows application that has a button for buying from an e-commerce site. The Windows Live ID authentication window could pop up from within the Windows application to verify an end user's security credentials.

"This SDK makes it easier to write new client applications that understand Windows Live IDs and supports the sharing of authentication state across multiple rich clients and browsers," according to a Windows Live ID white paper published earlier this year."

LaMonica goes on to tie the SDK news in with a recent speech by Microsoft's golden boy Ray Ozzie, in which Ozzie said that Microsoft Live services are being designed to complement Microsoft's desktop Windows-based software - rather than replacing desktop software. This strategy will define Microsoft's future, because in many ways it's the bridge between the old world (desktop software and the Windows OS) and the new world in which Google is a pioneer (web apps). I was interested to read Microsoft blogger Don Dodge's view on this:

"In my opinion the whole move towards Live Services and the "seamless, blended Client-Server-Services" model is FAR more impactful than Vista. Vista is a big deal for sure, and long overdue, but for real immediate impact on millions of users...Live Services is where it is happening. There will be more Live announcements in the near future. Ray Ozzie is already having a huge impact on Microsoft. You will see more over time."

I'd just add that there will be a lot of integration between Vista and Live Services, so in that sense Vista will still be very impactful when it arrives. But Don has hit the nail on the head in regards to the importance of Windows Live. I'm not sure if Ray Ozzie is the complete reason why Microsoft has made this strategic move towards desktop-Web, as recent media coverage has made out. I'd love to interview Ray to find out a bit of the recent history on this, because surely it can't all be down to a single person? Either way though, I think Microsoft is right on the ball with this strategic shift towards Live Services and integrated desktop/Web applications - and Windows Live ID will be a central part of this change. 

Topic: Windows

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14 comments
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  • Passport by another name?

    Ok, why is this good but Passport bad?
    CWButler
  • Anybody interested in what the customer wants?

    I am increasingly amazed at these 'products' emerging that I have no intention of using nor have an interest in. Do any of these companies care to listen to prospecxtive customers?
    joukeder@...
    • What kind of products are you interested in then?

      Let me know and I'll look into it :-)
      Web20Explorer
    • Get it Working??

      I get a message when trying to run Win Live that I should download IE Explorer 7 Beta 2. Seems reasonable except that when I run the install, it goes all the way through the exercise and at the end says I don't have something critical installed and it can't install. Please contact Windows Product Support. And when I do, it tells me to contact my vendor. Sheese!! No wonder some people buy Macs.
      mslammers@...
    • Customers are irrelevant. Only shareholders have a claim to interest.

      Pity they only give a frig about money. That's how quality decline starts, worsens, and eventually destroys.

      You and I, who spend $300 for each license, are ignored. Unless we have hundreds of shares -- oh, that's when we are listened to. Because we want to see the price per share go up.

      Shareholders are as utterly worthless as "middlemen". It really is as simple as that.

      Indeed, as corporations despise the support industry, they want consumers to figure out things for themselves. Fine. Let's see the same happen TO corporations, so they'd answer to customers instead of the middlemen. For middlemen are their form of support. After all, you listen and respond only to people you support.

      Microsoft has had a charmed life. Thanks solely to IBM and having a silver tongue to wiggle over the decades. But that can only hold them for so long as well. Other products, sufficiently compatible, will eventually tug at their monopoly. You cannot compete with something that is free [b]and[/b] allows you to modify it for your own use. Microsoft can never allow that because it's the antithesis of their business structure, which is to do everything [i]their[/i] way. Indeed, Microsoft drools on about TCO. With Linux, TCO is ultimately the same - just [i]where[/i] the money goes is different between Windows and Linux. MS wants one to think differently, pardon borrowing Apple's discarded slogan. As if they'd mind, over the years they've been "thinking the same" by ditching SCSI, taking FreeBSD, and now ditching the Motorola chip they once hyped as sublime and moving to Intel where all of a sudden, it is now the sublime processor. (Within one year, Apple goes from praising to pissing - that strikes me more than just being odd... especially when they used to show chart after chart showing how pathetic the Intel processor was. What's worse is that despite all of this betrayal, FreeBSD users (oops, Mac users) still praise Apple. Pity Apple was never worthy (thank Xerox), and Apple is no different from any other PC clone maker. Just costs more for that dumb logo.)
      HypnoToad
  • How many times do we hear "this will make or break microsoft"?

    Every OS release, it's as if the relevant media is about to have a friggin' [b]stroke[/b] over Windows ____ or Office ____.

    Well, despite their increasingly buggy and hole-ridden cheap patchwork-quilt nature, people are still buying. Good luck. Other alternatives exist. Peoples' guts don't.
    HypnoToad
  • Well...

    you've made your bed. Now sleep in it, because Microsoft is getting ready to foul it.
    Cardinal_Bill
  • Windows Live? whatever

    I'm not covinced Windows Live will make more of a difference than Passport did...

    -Josh
    http://www.jjroth.com
    htor63
  • IT columnists pushing an idea nobody wants

    "Microsoft needs to tie its existing OS/desktop software platform into the Internet in a big way - to ward off Google and other Internet companies."

    What a stupid idea....for most applications, there is no need to tie them to the internet, except for the already existing ability to email documents to other users. Why do I need Word to be tied to the internet? Why Excel? The author also included an example where a button in an application allows the user to buy something over the internet. What crap. I do not want the applications I use daily to go out and buy more crap. If I want to buy something from an company over the internet, I will find it when I want to with my own browser.

    The other problem with web-based applications is accessibility and availability. Right now my IT department is having network hardware problems. Every time the network hiccups my PC freezes, because everything is tied to the network. Yesterday I went home 15 minutes early because I couldn't work. With web-based or web-tied applications, if you are not connected to the web are you dead in the water?

    This is all just another over-hyped NEXT BIG THING push by the IT industry and its journalists, who are the worst when it comes to rushing frantically after each and every weird and stupid fad. Just like the Google thing...Google doesn't sell any applications, or an OS. These idiots forget that users need an OS first, to run their PCs, then they need an internet account with an ISP, and a browser to get on the internet. Google has none of these things, just a search service. Who cares...I have 10 search services bookmarked on my Favorites list.
    Zuel
    • They're good at that, aren't they?

      Isn't that what they do best? Nothing like having deadwood around that doesn't give you real information, just opinions, and likely paid ones at that.
      jgmsys@...
  • Just another good reason to avoid Microsoft....(NT)

    .
    Update victim
  • Live ID crucial

    kind of reminds me of; ID theft, ID tracking and spying, ID credt card nubers, ID auto update premium service with your ID card on file, msn ID space for genuine recogniton of loosers and wanna-be(S).
    not of this world
  • Windows Live ID crucial to Microsoft's future

    In this article you state that Windows Live ID will be more useful than Passport.

    My question is when was Passport useful?
    itlead2
  • And of course my ID will be secure...

    I see Microsoft's original interest in connecting IE to the OS was to allow marketers (or at least MS) to reach into your system and poke around for whatever it wanted. This of course derailed on the privacy backlash that developed; only then did MS found that the strategy had made swiss-cheese out of their security.

    Passport was an attempt to get people to volunteer this information but it only works for a small population of people willing to surrender their personal information in exchange for MS trinkets. This looks like a way for MS to go back to square one (now that they know everything there is to know about security) and achieve their original goals with a much larger population.

    So now the deal looks as though it might be, you get the other half of your Office dollar if you voluntarily agree to allow MS access to your privates.

    'Course this may be just paranoia...but this is Microsoft we're talking about, not Mary Poppins.
    Langalibalene