The HailStorm hits the fan
"I'm not sure how many people are going to be comfortable with Microsoft being the driver's license issuer for the Web," says one analyst, as the company unveils a new version of Passport in a .Net support package called HailStorm.
March 19, 2001The XPedient way to win customers
Part Two, in which your computer asks: Are you sure you don't want to sign up for Microsoft's Passport service? (For Parts Three, Four, Five and Six, see previous sentence.)
June 21, 2001Big Brother Bill is watching
A privacy group alleges that Passport is really a scheme to "profile, track and monitor millions of Internet users." Orwellian paranoia? Or legitimate fear?
August 15, 2001Mr. Gates goes to Washington
Or at least sends some reps on Passport's behalf: His company heads to D.C. at the behest of the Center for Democracy & Technology, a consumer advocacy group. Agenda? Privacy.
August 22, 2001Playing well with others
Feeling the heat, Microsoft decides to let Passport share credentials with other authentication services.
September 20, 2001Sun steps up
Microsoft's enemy Sun Microsystems spearheads an effort to produce a Passport alternative. General Motors, Bank of America, Nokia and RealNetworks join in.
September 26, 2001Passport's "Wallet" service open to pickpockets
Microsoft acknowledges a major security flaw in the Passport service that keeps track of data used by e-commerce sites: a hole that leaves people's financial info wide open.
November 2, 2001It's starting to look like a ballgame, folks
Big hitter AOL signs on to Sun's Liberty Alliance effort. Don't head for the parking lot yet.
December 4, 2001The invective begins to fly
AmEx hops on the Liberty bandwagon. Sun's McNealy: Microsoft wants to gather your ID info and "sell it back to you." Microsoft's Ballmer: Liberty "has zero probability of mattering to the world." Grrrr.
December 6, 2001How to win friends and influence people
Microsoft starts offering cash to e-shoppers who use its Passport Express Purchase service.
December 10, 2001Passport leads to pass out
When Microsoft requires users of its Zone gaming site to register with Passport, the site zones out, leaving gamers in the cold and the reliability of the ID service in question.
December 12, 2001