Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Microsoft Personal Security Rel. 2: getting there but don't hold your breath

Bill Gates is in prophet mode again. And he's still showing a remarkable aptness for getting things wrong first time around, improving on it second time, and getting it right in third instance.

Case in question: today's announcement of the Virtual Information Wallet. Or Passport, as it was called a while ago.

We all have a desperate need for a consistent identity on the Internet, and to have it equally consistently protected against theft. But with ten thousand IDs and password combinations all over the place achieving both consistency and security is downright impossible.

Microsoft's Passport Network was fatally flawed because it left the user completely in the hands (and at the mercy) of Microsoft. Bill's new solution, codenamed InfoCard, promises people a tool over which they keep complete control themselves.

Let's not get ahead of ourselves here. InfoCard is still Bill's second attempt, and it's still vaporware. But we're definitely headed in the right direction.

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