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Novell and IBM collaborate on open source ID Framework

What would make two companies like Novell and IBM (opens in new tab) literally fall over the open source identity management Project known as Higgins, which some consider as the alter-ego of Microsoft's Infocard technology.

Identify management, part of the grand scheme known as Digital Rights Management, is certainly worth more than the meagre $4 billion that IDC predicts will be the size of the market by 2009.

The Higgins project, which gets its name from a Tasmanian Mouse, will be the glue bringing together various security schemes according to IBM and Novell. Higgins and Infocard work differently and the former is closer to being a theoretical framework than a turnkey system like Infocard is already.

With Microsoft having place huge stakes in security, right management and identity in the next few months, it is very easy to see why big corporations like Novell and IBM might be attracted to the same segment. Infocard is built into Windows Vista and will therefore give Microsoft a head-on start on the market.

Key to the success of Higgins though will be its capacity to attract other security heavyweights and convince software developers to put effort and time to build applications around Higgins.

IBM already has some experience already into turning losing battles into stunning victories. The Eclipse consortium was one of those and it would not be surprising that Higgins follow the same path down Security as Eclipse did in Programming.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.