Login standard OpenID has gotten a huge boost today from Microsoft, as the company has announced that users will soon be able to login to any OpenID site using their Windows Live IDs. With over 400 million Windows Live accounts (many of which see frequent use on the Live’s Mail and Messenger services), the announcement is a massive win for OpenID. And Microsoft isn’t just supporting OpenID – the announcement goes as far as to call it the de facto login standard.
The news parallels Yahoo’s announcement in January that users would be able to use their Yahoo IDs on any OpenID site – a move that instantly tripled the protocol’s potential user base. But it also comes with the same caveat that we had with the Yahoo news: while Windows Live accounts will work for logging into other sites, it’s unclear if Live will become a “relying party” that would allow users to login with third party OpenIDs.
Bill Gates initially pledged support for OpenID in early 2007, but the company has been slow to actually implement it (unfortunately this has been a trend in the industry). For now Live’s role as an OpenID provider is in testing, with widespread support planned for “sometime in 2009″. If you’d like to try it out now, check out the instructions on the blog post here.