Identity Silos Forever?

Lately there has been a heated discussion in the identity community about identity silos. Google’s announcement of the Google Authentication Services stirred up the fire considerably.

Ben Laurie has added a new episode in his latest blog posting “Comparing Apples and Apples: Microsoft and Google Authentication“:

The end result of the blog deathmatch between me, Kim, Eric and Dick was a deathly silence on what I consider to be the core issue.

OK, its nice that Microsoft are developing identity management software that might not suck (but remember, it still doesn’t satisfy my Laws of Identity) but the question that’s being posed about Google applies equally to Microsoft, and, indeed, anyone else with an identity silo.

So, here’s the question: is Microsoft going to accept third party authentication for access to Microsoft properties?

I would add a question to this: if breaking down the barriers around identity silos is the primary goal, would Microsoft ever give up being an identity provider? Would Microsoft hand over to a non-profit and free organisation before turning it into an Infocard provider?

Will, with the arrival of Infocards and friends, Identity Silos disappear? Or will they remain as powerful and impenetrable as before?