Subject: Re: the .NET battle ends
Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2001 16:08:38 -0400

Tom Lord wrote:
> From,10738,2813501,00.html
>           MS: You don't trust us? OK, we'll open Passport, Hailstorm
>                        David Coursey,
>                         Executive Editor, AnchorDesk
>           Microsoft says it wants Passport and Hailstorm, its
>           foundation services for Web-based applications, to play well
>           with others. So in a shocking move, the company is
>           announcing today that Passport will be changed to use an
>           Internet-standard security model and Hailstorm won't be the
>           only place for users to store their personal information.
>           For months, Microsoft has been taking [I would say
>           "generating" -t] heat from critics upset about Microsoft's
>           apparent plan to make itself the repository of users'
>           passwords, calendars, contact lists, and other information
>           that might prove useful to future Web-based
>           applications. Now, Microsoft says, anyone will be able to
>           join what it's calling a "federation of trust" and provide
>           those services themselves.
My take is pretty cynical.  First of all I wonder what exactly the
conditions will be to join their "web of trust".  It seems to me that
they are likely to become a very large and powerful player in that,
and their acceptance of a player is likely to come very expensively,
if at all, for anyone they consider a competitor.

I also would read this alongside my opinion of the SSSCA stated at
- noting carefully Karsten's point about "No sunshine".  If they can
make .NET and Passport into official government standards under the
SSSCA, then they will be able to negotiate all contacts about access
to their web of trust one on one, with no protections allowing anyone
else in, and with all provisions of anti-trust law explicitly

Pardon me for looking at that prospect and believing that Microsoft
is trying to look like they are giving away a lot, but expects to
cede somewhere between zip and nothing.  However they have a nice
public relations ploy they can point to for years saying that they
really are nice and generous folks after all.  And it is very
cleverly done so that it will be very hard for people who understand
what is going on to explain to non-technical people exactly why this
gesture is meaningless.