This morning at Microsoft’s Professional Developers Conference, the Windows Live ID team announced that Windows Live ID will support OpenID 2.0 with a Community Technology Preview today and production support sometime next year.
Beginning today, Windows Live™ ID is publicly committing to support the OpenID digital identity framework with the announcement of the public availability of a Community Technology Preview (CTP) of the Windows Live ID OpenID Provider. You will soon be able to use your Windows Live ID account to sign in to any OpenID Web site!
Microsoft joins Yahoo! who implemented support for OpenID earlier this year for all of their accounts. By sometime next year, every AOL, Microsoft and Yahoo! user will have an OpenID which makes the emerging focus on improving OpenID’s user experience even more important.
Angus Logan from the Live team has put together a quick screencast showing the current developer oriented process for testing the Windows Live ID OpenID Provider with an OpenID 2.0 enabled site.
While this is great news from Microsoft, real web-scale adoption of technologies always faces a chicken-and-egg problem between developers and vendors. Developers don’t want to adopt a technology without buy-in from platform providers and platform providers don’t want to support a technology if developers won’t use it. We’ve largely been able to successfully avoid this concern with OpenID as it grew from roots in an open source community with lots of people and companies involved in making OpenID what it is today. There are now well beyond half a billion OpenIDs available on the web which means we can mark the first phase of OpenID adoption, platform support, as a success.
The next phase of developer adoption will not be measured in the number of OpenIDs or sites that support it, but rather user experience, accessibility, and seamlessness of integration into a wide variety of applications and experiences.