AOL Pulls Rug From Under 'Magic Carpet'

Thanks David for this one. After coming to a crescendo as key player in Liberty Alliance, AOL has disbanded the Magic Carpet product team and refocused limited resources on its core subscription and advertising businesses. This leaves the Internet giant with no viable alternative to Microsoft's Passport authentication service in implementation, which currently boasts 200 million accounts.

As first reported by BetaNews, Magic Carpet was a unified single sign-on similar in concept to Passport. The system was to provide AOL with leverage to yield against Microsoft, and ostensibly bring forth a rich alternative to AOL's more than 35 million subscribers.

It was in AOL's interest to forge its own path. "If some group outside of AOL becomes the repository of users' digital identities, what has been AOL's vice-grip hold on its users' online experience is substantially weakened," said Jonathan Eunice, Principal Analyst and IT Advisor of Illuminata.

As Microsoft's Hailstorm -- known by the moniker .Net My Services -- approached, Magic Carpet was to be deployed across the entire spectrum of AOL's partnered sites and internal Web properties. This would have presented a true spoke in Microsoft's strategy to establish its Web services platform.

News source: BetaNews for the whole report

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