According to the New York Times, Microsoft has pretty much abandoned their plans to centralize everyone’s personal data.
The plan, a version of Passport on steroids called Hailstorm, never had a chance, for three reasons. First and foremost, Microsoft could never get any other company to go along with it. Partially this is because nobody trusts Microsoft any more; more significantly, it’s because there’s no real benefit to the other companies. Second, consumers weren’t about to trust Microsoft with all their juicy personal data. There was just too much of an uproar. And finally, as in now becomes clear, this was Rick Belluzzo‘s pet project, and, as anyone could have told Rick, Microsoft doesn’t really like executives brought in from outside, even though they keep bringing them in.
Moving to .Net
I wrote up our current thoughts about moving to .NET at Fog Creek.