Office productivity suite Zoho removed the need to create an account to use their services today – you can now log in to any of their products using a Google or Yahoo account. Sign in is completed via Yahoo’s and Google’s authentication APIs.
I asked Zoho evangelist Raju Vegesna why they don’t just adopt OpenID to handle authentications instead. He says they will, soon, but also want to integrate directly with the most requested third parties to address users immediate needs (and it is still a pain to log in with OpenID). Vegesna also says they may integrate directly with other third parties, such as Microsoft and Facebook, in the future as well based on user requests.
The goal, Vegesnu says, is to get users to try Zoho with as little hassle as possible: “One thing we noticed is, when users try both Zoho and Google, more than 70% of them prefer Zoho. It made sense for us to do this. We want more users to try our apps.”
This certainly accomplishes that. In a matter of a couple of clicks, new users can get in to Zoho and start creating and editing documents. My guess is this works out well for them.