About 10 years ago, Microsoft had an idea for portable credentials with a product called Passport and later expanded into suite called Hailstorm. The basic idea: a better user experience across the web for personal information such as credentials & billing information plus other stuff.
Despite owning Hotmail and MSN, Hailstorm never caught on.
But the idea is quite interesting.
Fast forward a decade and we have a number of popular web services providing portable credentials today.
For example, you can leave a comment on this blog with Disqus. But you don’t have to be a Disqus user because you can also leave a comment using your Facebook username/password or Twitter credentials. I am biased but I think Twitter authentication with Disqus is fantastic. Super easy and a smooth user experience.
I think we are going to see more web services offer portable credentials soon. Apple now has over 75million accounts linked to credit cards. Will we see an “iTunes Connect” on third party sites?
Earlier today, my friend Fred Wilson wrote a post “Why isn’t PayPal more successful” about his recent experiences with PayPal and the benefits of stored credentials. In the comments, I wondered outloud if we will see “Amazon Connect” soon.
If Amazon offers something as good & easy as Twitter oauth or Facebook Connect for ecommerce, I would use it all day long.
Update: In the comments below JoeLaz points out that Amazon has Amazon Payments out for over a year. that is a good start but not as smooth as FB connect or twitter oauth. amazon payments requires too many clicks and takes the user away from the 3rd party site to log in to the amazon payment system. it has to work entirely outside of amazon’s site.