Archive for August, 2007

August 28, 2007
Sign into your LiveID with an Information Card

The Windows LiveID team just added beta support for signing into your Windows LiveID accounts with self-issued Information Cards. Now I read my hotmail without ever typing a password. Very cool!

This post announced the support:

Windows Live ID adds Beta support for Information Cards with Windows CardSpace!

Windows CardSpace is a new way to sign in securely and conveniently into websites. And now you can use CardSpace with your Windows Live ID account! Using CardSpace with Windows Live ID means you don’t use a password to sign-in. Instead, just send your Information Card to Live ID to identify you and get signed into Hotmail, Windows Live Spaces or any other site that accepts Windows Live ID. And it is incredibly easy to use CardSpace with your Live ID. Just follow this link (here) to get going in minutes!

If you are using Windows Vista, you are all ready to use CardSpace! If you are on Windows XP or Windows 2003, you will need to get IE 7.0, our newest and coolest browser and .Net 3.0 with CardSpace support (if you don’t already have them). You will also need to add an Information Card to your Live ID account. To install these components and add an Information Card to your Live ID account, visit the Windows Live ID Information Card management page. Also go to that page to make changes to the Information Card added to your Live ID account.

Once you’ve added an Information Card to your Live ID account, sign in using the Information Card. You will be amazed at how easy it is! BTW, that Windows Live ID CardSpace support is still a “Beta”. We are still working on it and know a bunch of things that could be better. But do let us know your wish list; it is always good to get feedback.

Nayna Mutha, Program Manager – LiveID
Rob Franco, Lead Program Manager – Windows CardSpace

Here’s what it looks like:
LiveID InfoCard login page

Congratulations to the LiveID team for helping make the web safer and easier to use!

August 26, 2007
Information Cards for OpenIDs

Sxip Identity just finished a draft specification that enables a really useful form of convergence between OpenIDs and Information Cards: presenting your OpenID as an Information Card you select rather than as a string you type. Johnny Bufu’s OpenID general mailing list note introduces this specification for community review.

This combination has several advantages over standard OpenID usage. First, there’s no OpenID string to type when you use your OpenID, which should make OpenIDs easier for more people to use. Second, this is a phishing-resistant authentication method. Finally, it lets you recognize and choose your OpenID visually, based on the card graphics supplied by the OpenID provider.

Sxip also backed this specification by a sample implementation, which you can check out at Now for some more details….

Here’s how it works: In this model, the OpenID relying party asks for an OpenID Information Card using an object tag on the page rather than having the user type the OpenID as a string (while probably also giving the user the option to instead type in the string for backwards compatibility). The user’s Identity Selector then lets the user choose which OpenID card to send to the site. The card transmits the actual OpenID string to the site as a claim. From that point on, standard OpenID protocol interactions ensue.

For instance, the sample relying party page asks you to “Login with an OpenID InfoCard” and requests the card using this evocative graphic:

OpenID InfoCard

Upon clicking the graphic, my identity selector is invoked, which shows me that I can use this OpenID Information Card at the site (which I’d previously obtained here):

Sxip OpenID InfoCard

After that, the sample performed a standard OpenID attribute exchange and the relying party greeted me with:

Welcome! You have logged in using your OpenID identifier.

Phone: (omitted)
Country: USA
City: Redmond
Address: One Microsoft Way, Building 40/5138
LastName: Jones
FirstName: Mike

Behind the scenes, the relying party had received this OpenID assertion:

<openid:OpenIDToken xmlns:openid="">openid.ns:
openid.ext1.value.attr5:One Microsoft Way, Building 40/5138

One final technical note that will be of interest to some of you: OpenID Information Cards do not use SAML tokens. They use one of two variants of openid:OpenIDToken tokens (depending upon whether the OpenID relying party uses OpenID 1.1 or 2.0 authentication).

Go get yourself an OpenID Information Card and give it a spin! Read and comment on the spec. Or even better yet, implement it and tell us about your experience!

August 2, 2007
Information Card Deployment Guide Update

Sign in with your Information CardAn updated version of the Information Card Deployment Guide is now available. Among other improvements, it’s been updated to employ the Information Card Icon. As the original deployment guide announcement said:

So you’ve decided to use Information Cards on your web site… Now what? I’m pleased to announce that we’ve just published a document giving step-by-step guidance to Web developers on what we believe are the best practices for doing this. The document walks Web site developers through two different deployment scenarios: sites exclusively using Information Cards for authentication, and mixed-mode sites allowing the use of either passwords or Information Cards. Examples are given for site sign-in, site sign-up, and handling lost Information Cards, including suggested confirmation text for each of these scenarios.

This link to the document Patterns for Supporting Information Cards at Web Sites: Personal Cards for Sign up and Signing In references the current version and will be updated to point to any future revisions as well. The Sample Information Card Site employs these guidelines and is built using the Information Card Relying Party Resources announced earlier. Enjoy adding Information Card support to your web sites!

August 2, 2007
User-Centric Identity Interop at Catalyst

OSIS Logos

I’ve been waiting to write about the user-centric identity interop at the Burton Group Catalyst conference until the Burton Group report about the event was published. Now it’s here!

At the interop we demonstrated interoperability between 7 Identity Selectors, 11 Identity Providers, and 25 Relying Parties. As Bob Blakley wrote:

The interop event was a milestone in the maturation of user-centric identity technology. Prior to the event, there were some specifications, one commercial product, and a number of open-source projects. After the event, it can accurately be said that there is a running identity metasystem.

The full report includes a list of participants and the software they brought to the table, an overview of the results achieved, as well as the issues identified through the interop. See Bob’s post for all the details!

The report also includes thank-yous, to which I’d like to make some additions: Thanks are due to Jamie Lewis, Gerry Gebel, and Bob Blakley of the Burton Group for sharing our vision for this interop, striving to make it the best that it could be, and tirelessly working the details until it came true. You truly helped the industry to come together in a valuable and significant way.

Also, while I appreciate Bob’s thanks for the work I put into the Open Specification Promise, there were many believers in and drivers of this important work at Microsoft besides myself, both from the Law and Corporate Affairs team and from the Federated Identity product group. This was truly a team effort.

I’m also happy to report that there will be a follow-on interop in Europe at the Catalyst conference in Barcelona, October 22-25, which will hopefully include even more participants and scenarios, including more multi-protocol interoperation proof points. Hope to see you there!