Ballmer dismisses rival Sun's passport service.

Steve Ballmer, speaking to an industry group, dismissed rival Sun's efforts to compete with his company's Passport identity service as "craziness" built on a "weak foundation" on Wednesday.

"I think what we announced is right. I think the Sun thing has absolutely no probability of mattering to the world. That's my nonemotional view," Ballmer told a symposium sponsored by Gartner, the information technology consultant and analyst.

Sun is backed by a partnership including tech leaders Cisco, Intuit and eBay as well as a phalanx of old economy stalwarts such as Bank of America; General Motors; and American Airlines.

"Not all those (partners) are deeply aligned," Ballmer said. "If our stuff makes sense, they're in with us."

Ballmer derided Sun for its inability to recruit its largest partner, AOL which is expected to unveil its own ID system, called Magic Carpet, in the near future.

"AOL and Sun have a huge joint venture and they couldn't even get AOL to participate in their thing. What kind of craziness is that? It just shows you the weak foundation on which they are building. We have 120 million users to start. AOL has about 30 million users to start. How many users does Sun have? What's the central application that's going to encourage people to go get an ID?", Ballmer said.

News source: Reuters

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