October 27, 2008

Windows Live ID Becomes an OpenID Provider

Windows Live ID Commits to Support OpenID

Beginning today, Windows LiveT 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!

The Windows Live ID OpenID Provider (OP) enables anyone with a Windows Live ID account to set up an OpenID alias and to use that alias for identification at an increasing number of OpenID 2.0 relying party sites-for example: Plaxo, Pibb, StackOverflow.com and Wikispaces.

What is OpenID?

The official answer from the OpenID Foundation (the guardians of the OpenID specs) is that "OpenID is a free and easy way to use a single digital identity across the Internet." (Source: http://openid.net/)

OpenID is an emerging, de facto standard Web protocol for user authentication. It helps eliminate the need for multiple user names across different Web sites, thereby simplifying a user's online experience. Stated another way, you can reuse your OpenID account at different Web sites without having to create a new user name and password at each site you use.

More information about OpenID is available at http://openid.net.

Windows Live ID OpenID Provider - October 2008 (CTP)

The initial release is a Community Technology Preview (CTP) Release in the Windows Live ID Integration (INT) environment. It is intended primarily for relying-party Web sites and developers of relying-party client libraries, to enable them to test the interoperability of their implementations against the Windows Live ID OP endpoint and flush out any bugs or incompatibilities.

Note that the Windows Live ID OP supports only the OpenID 2.0 protocol.

The Windows Live ID INT environment is separate from the main Production environment, and is for testing purposes only. If you have not already created a Windows Live ID user account for testing in INT, you can do so at https://login.live-int.com/.

After you have your Windows Live ID account in INT, go to https://login.live-int.com/beta/ManageOpenID.srf to set up your OpenID alias on that test account.

NOTE: INT accounts are for testing purposes only and are NOT intended to be permanent user accounts. They do not allow access to Windows Live services in Production.

Windows Live ID OpenID Provider - Future Release Plans

The current Technology Preview release is for testing purposes only, and is not intended for widespread adoption at this stage. After a period of industry testing and feedback, we will be incorporating any necessary fixes and feature enhancements into the next revision, to be released to Production sometime in 2009.

We do NOT recommend that anyone use their INT alias as their permanent OpenID account at this time; users should wait until the final release of the OP to Production.

Open Standards Support

All Windows Live product teams are committed to supporting open standards where such standards are relevant to our work and when they reach a sufficient level of maturity, and the Windows Live ID Team is no exception.  We have been tracking the evolution of the OpenID specification, from its birth as just a dream and a vision through its development into a mature, de facto standard with terms that make it viable for us to implement it now.

We look forward to making it easier for our users to access the Web sites they use, by reducing their need to create additional identity accounts. That is the promise of OpenID. We are happy to support that goal by providing OpenID-based sign-in functionality to Windows Live ID account holders.

Call to Action

We want you to try the Windows Live ID OpenID Provider CTP release, let us know your feedback, and tell us about any problems you find.

To prepare:

  1. Go to https://login.live-int.com/ and use the sign-up button to set up a Windows Live ID test account in the INT environment.
  2. Go to https://login.live-int.com/beta/ManageOpenID.srf to set up your OpenID test alias.

Then:

·         Users -- At any Web site that supports OpenID 2.0, type OpenID.Live-INT.com in the OpenID login box to sign in to that site by means of your Windows Live ID OpenID alias.

·         Library developers -- Test your libraries against the Windows Live ID OP endpoint and let us know of any problems you find.

·         Web site owners -- Test signing in to your site by using a Windows Live ID OpenID alias and let us know of any problems you find.

You can send us feedback at:

·         E-mail: openidfb@microsoft.com

Entry categories: Live ID Standards
Posted by Jorgen Thelin at October 27, 2008 11:01 AM - [PermaLink]