== Notes from c2001 ==
Here's how I understand Passport.
Member Sites who desire data from End Users (for free registration on ad-supported sites, for shipping data on e-commerce sites) can request data about a user from one of the Reference Sites. User avoids having to fill out form. When End Users return, they don't have to remember their ID/password on that site, Passport passes that data along for them. In some/all of these cases the Member Sites pay money to Microsoft. End Users will probably not have to pay for this feature.
The potential MS move I just thought of would be to eliminate the field-value-remember feature of IE, tying it into Passport ("for greater user security", or something like that).
Of course, this same kind of thinking leads me to believe that almost everyone will end up with a Passport account, other than a few number of people who go out of their way to avoid it (like Dave McCusker has posted ). This will be maybe even smaller than the number of people who install Ad Blocking or cookie-blocking plugins. (I suspect that this basic SSO functionality will remain free to the user. The user will end up paying if they want to store additional data in Hailstorm. And sites will have to pay to have access to Passport data for SSO.)
In which case, what scenario/action, other than government intervention, supports the belief that an alternate solution will get past the Chicken And Egg problem to reach critical mass of acceptance by users and sites?
If that's not the goal, and we're just trying to create an alternative for 5% of the online population, then we should be clear about that.
(Because if my options as a site developer are: 0. support Passport and pay, with 95% of users included 0. support alternative system, no pay but 10% of users 0. support both 0. support neither
I suspect I'll go with #1 if my margin per registration is sufficiently high, #4 otherwise.)