Today marks the start of Microsoft’s Mix Conference (Mix06) in Las Vegas featuring a keynote by Bill Gates (web cast – 9AM Pacific). The focus is on Web developers to whom Microsoft will pitch its various Web development initiatives including the Atlas framework for building AJAX applications and it is expected that a “layout complete” beta version of Internet Explorer 7 will be distributed to the attendees, but won’t be made publicly available. Despite earlier hints, the attendees apparently won’t get a look at Microsoft’s Expression Web Designer (aka Quartz) which has been noticeably AWOL lately.
Just two weeks ago, Bill Gates was touting the InfoCard identity management system coming in Windows Vista. Today it appears that an Open Source alternative will be announced. Joris Evers at CNET:
IBM and Novell on Monday are expected to announce an open-source response to Microsoft’s forthcoming InfoCard identity management technology.
The companies plan to contribute to an open-source initiative code-named Higgins Project. The project aims to help people manage their plethora of Internet logins and passwords by integrating identity, profile and relationship information used across authentication systems on the Net.
The open-source project, managed by the Eclipse Foundation, is a response to Microsoft’s InfoCard identity management technology, Anthony Nadalin, distinguished engineer and chief security architect at IBM, said in an interview.
“This is a move to help get identity management out in the open source. InfoCard is one user-centric identity system…but the implementation Microsoft has is not what I would call open,” he said. “There are a lot of hidden elements.” One example, he said, is how it interacts with Active Directory, Microsoft’s identity management technology for businesses.
Microsoft has been taking pains to make sure that InfoCard doesn’t suffer the same fate as Passport, which was viewed as too proprietary, by touting its open nature (,,). It looks like they have a way to go. Also, all of these identity management systems require that Web site proprietors sign up to use them in place of their existing security arrangements. That alone guarantees a long, rancorous process.
Update: The IBM press release is here.
Darryl K. Taft at eWeek:
IBM and a group of industry leaders on Feb. 1 announced an open-source initiative to promote the adoption of AJAX technology.
AJAX is a (web) client technology that enriches the user experience for shopping, working, planning, corresponding and navigating online. AJAX makes updated information available automatically without refreshing the browser, among other benefits.
Notice the presence of Google and Yahoo on the list and not surprisingly, given the open source basis, the absence of Microsoft. SYS-CON Belgium has much more including an interview with IBM’s CTO for Emerging Internet Technologies, David Boloker.
Microsoft announced it own AJAX tooling, codenamed Atlas, at PDC05 and will be featuring it at the March Mix06 conference.
Mary Jo Foley and Darryl K. Taft at eWeek:
Microsoft Corp. has lost one of its high-profile hires to an open-source consortium.
Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation, announced on Monday that Ward Cunningham is leaving Microsoft to join the staff of the open-source tool consortium. Cunningham’s new title is Director of Committer Community Development.
Cunningham, the father of the Wiki concept, joined Microsoft about two years ago. At Microsoft, he was not involved directly in social-networking-software development.
A recent Channel 9 video featured Ward and Sam Gentile discussing wiki history and more.