Yahoo! Signs up to OpenID

2 minute read
John Conroy avatar
Yahoo's OpenID
The OpenID initiative garners an enormous boost (to the tune of 248 million identities) as the addition of Yahoo! brings the dream of 'one person, one password' a big step closer.Starting January 30th, Yahoo! members will be able to use their Yahoo! identities to sign in to user services at other OpenID 2.0 Web resources.The move has tremendous implications both for the company and for the OpenID project. In terms of Yahoo! itself, it's another sign of the increasingly open and progressive philosophy at the company, which last week opened its Mobile platform to third-party developers.But eventually, there won't even be a password. PC Magazine reports that "Users ...will be able to set up a sign-in seal—some secret text or an image—that will appear on valid participating sites for verification. Each seal will be associated with a single PC".Around 10,000 websites already support OpenID, according to the OpenID Foundation, and Yahoo's involvement will triple the amount of OpenID accounts to around 368m. Yahoo is partnering with Plaxo and JanRain to make sure their IDs are OpenIDs right from day one.The news has, at time of posting, been greeted with muted discomfort from investors. On the back of a sliding Nasdaq, Yahoo! shares were down by 2.8%. And perhaps that's not surprising- it's not every day you give away 250,000,000 signatures.The Web in 2008 has so far proven to be all about openness, cooperation, little pink fluffy bunnies, and world peace. Thank goodness for that idiot with the remote control at CES and Scoble. If it wasn't for the occasional bad guy popping up, all this softie/dandy stuff would be enough to make one want to barf.Is OpenID a gamble too far for Yahoo? Or are we seeing another step in the company's renaissance? Feel free to contribute below.