Microsoft Says No to Liberty Alliance

Despite news that a key ally in the Web services standards space has decided to join the Liberty Alliance, an identity management group working to define standards around federated identity and Web services, Microsoft said it will not be following suit. "Microsoft has no plans to join" Liberty, a company representative said. IBM on Wednesday announced its membership in the Liberty Alliance, a significant move in that IBM and Microsoft Corp. set out with competing specifications for federated identity—including the WS-Federation and Microsoft's Passport—while Sun Microsystems Inc. proposed the Liberty specifications.

But now, IBM is not only a Liberty member but also a board member, the company said. "It's about time," said James Governor, an analyst with RedMonk LLC, based in Bath, Maine. "IBM should have joined up a while ago. This is good for everybody—service providers, enterprises and anyone interested in federated service provision—and that means many potential Web services business models. "Service aggregation requires federation," Governor said. "I see this is as evidence of some interesting new shifts in the industry. The Sun-Microsoft detente may indirectly have forced the issue.

News source: eWeek

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