Yahoo announced late last week that it is supporting the OpenID 2.0 standard for a universal online login.
OpenID is designed to create a single login process usable on multiple sites. Users currently have to remember different logins, including user IDs and passwords, for all the sites they use.
While some sites have adopted OpenID, it remains the domain of the early adopter. OpenID was developed by the founder of LiveJournal, Brad Fitzpatrick, before he moved to Google last year. He is also a developer for the OpenSocial initiative.
Yahoo, which has over 248 million users worldwide, said that potential users of OpenID number around 368 million. The public beta testing of Yahoo's implementation of OpenID will start on 30 January, Yahoo said.
The concept of a single sign-on process for access to multiple websites is not new. Microsoft has its own technology called Windows Live ID, previously known as Passport, which allows access to a variety of sites owned by the company and its partners. However, the technology has not become as ubiquitous as originally hoped and has attracted criticism in the areas of privacy and security.