Microsoft still mulling over Liberty Alliance

Microsoft is still debating whether or not to join the Liberty Alliance Project.

Microsoft is still debating whether or not to join the Liberty Alliance Project.

"The Liberty Alliance is something that I think we are still trying to understand in terms of what the exact intention of that alliance is, in terms of the product that they intend to bring to market or how they intend to function so at this point in time," said Richard Belluzzo, president and chief operating officer of Microsoft.

"We're evaluating it, we're trying to understand what the Liberty Alliance stands for," he continued. "If we share the same vision and the same goals we may share some opportunities."

The Liberty Alliance Project's goal is to create a ubiquitous, single login and decentralised authentication system for online services that is accessible from any device connected to the Internet. Led by Sun Microsystems, the group includes America Online, Cisco, eBay, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, RealNetworks, RSA Security, Sony, Verisign, Vodafone.

Microsoft began pushing its own Passport system in late 1998 and recently announced plans to support Kerberos security in the system in the hopes of gaining wider support for the service from other retailers and Web site operators. Like Liberty Alliance, it also allows users to authenticate themselves once and then visit a network of Web sites without the need to log in again.

"We have been working on [Passport] for several years now," said Belluzzo. "We've made very good progress in terms of users and partners. Today it is a reality and it is something we are very excited about."

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