OpenID consensus paves way for less password

IBM, Google, Microsoft, Verisign and Yahoo have agreed to join in the corporate board of the OpenID foundation whose aim is to propose a "free and easy way to use a single digital identity across the Internet"; effectively allowing people to navigate securely across internet websites with a single password and login.

As reported earlier this month, OpenID is gathering momentum to become the first real industry-wide alternative to closed walls like Microsoft's Passport initiative.

There are now more than 350 million OpenIDs and nearly 11,000 websites that accept them; Yahoo put its weight behind the project by offering OpenID compatibility de facto to its 250 million active registered users; a rather spectacular feat given that OpenID is less than a year old.

There have also been suggestions that the UK government (via Johannes Ernst's Blog) should abandon the proprietary-based National Identity Scheme and Smartmoney projects and head to OpenID instead.

A statement on OpenID also reveals that the OpenID foundation looks to make a bigger bang worldwide by forging alliances and partnerships overseas:

"In 2008, we can expect to see a larger focus on making OpenID even more accessible to a mainstream audience, the development of a worldwide trademark usage policy (much like the Jabber Foundation and Mozilla have done), and a larger international focus on working with the OpenID communities in Asia and Europe," it read.

It is interesting to note that the founder of OpenID, Brad Fitzpatrick, now works at Google and that the Search company is also behind another industry wide initiative, the Dataportability Workgroup, which aims to achieve the same level of standardisation for personal data.