Microsoft to Embrace OpenID
Bill Gates sez M$ is gonna back OpenID. This is a good thing. Although you can be sure they'll cock it up on some Windows product, OpenID is simple and well-enough-designed (ala other basic protocols like SMTP, HTTP, DNS, etc) that even if your fancy bells and whistles suck ass, the basic protocol still functions well, and other people will make better products, and progress marches on.
Honestly, I don't think M$ can break OpenID, and I think having them on board may finally break the logjam. Get used to seeing this:
Learn more, if you like. But the jist of this is that you will soon be able to house multiple social internet logins under one roof, meaning you can pick someone you trust and use that login everywhere without compromising your security. For instance, you could use your AIM login info for most other places you need to "identify yourself" online, without compromising your AOL account. It also means it's easier for people like me to cut back on comment-spam. Woo!
Those are immediate benefits. The addition of a true distributed identity layer to the internet has much more revolutionary potential as well, but we'll have to see how things play out for a few more years before any of that happens.