Identity is the key to a number of problems vexing IT savvy organizations from spam to security thru how to charge for small services rendered. So it should come as no surpise that:
a)Microsoft and Sun are trying and largely failing “to get together on their great peace initiative – and one of the key stumbling blocks is how to reconcile their different approaches to identity management;
b)the major players (think IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Sun, SAP, etc)are starting to buy up identity management start-ups. Its a mini-eBusiness boomlet for those who ventured their money in this arena;
c)its an opportunity to put the W3C , ISO, and other international standards bodies on a more self-sufficient, self-financing basis.
Lets consider the latter point. With the establishment of ICANN and then Network Solutions as the first and most privileged provider of Web names; a great opportunity was lost for putting at the least W3C and possibly more international standards bodies on a more self-financing basis using the natural worldwide monopoly that is going to be inevitable in setting up various identity and derivative charging processes/systems for use on the Web. The divisiveness of Network Solutions, ICANN, and other private and proprietary interest driven organizations should be a reminder of what is to be avoided. Again, Identity and its open and thoughtful management is the key.