Now that it seems highly likely that Microsoft will acquire Yahoo (unless News Corp., or even Apple, start a bidding war), what will the impact be on OpenID -- if any?One of the biggest boosts OpenID received lately was the backing of Yahoo, which would expose millions of potential users to the single sign-on service. Many for the first time.
Many may worry that Microsoft will move to stifle OpenID use. I don't think this will be the outcome.
First, Microsoft has expressed its intent to supporting OpenID. And at last year's RSA security conference, Gates went into great length as to how it is integrating OpenID with its CardSpace initiative, which helps to strengthen online authentication.
One of the central benefits of CardSpace is its identity selector. The identity selector makes it possible for users to select the credentials they want to provide to a requesting service, such as a Web site. While the Web site, or any other type of service requestor, can set requirements on the type of credentials they mandate for authentication, or access.
Supporting both Windows Live ID and OpenID would be a snap. So the most likely outcome, in the near term, will be all three logon systems will be supported -- Yahoo logon, Live ID, and Open ID. Eventually, Yahoo logon will vanish, leaving support for sites external to Microsoft properties to be able to accept both Live ID and Open ID.
Even the potential of merging both ID systems wouldn't be out of the question.