WinInfo Short Takes: Week of January 3: Microsoft Continues to Lose Passport Partners: "Contrary to some reports I've read, competition from Sun's Liberty Alliance--which proposes a Passport alternative--had absolutely nothing to do with Passport's demise. Instead it was customer apathy and a general distrust of using a Microsoft service to contain private information that doomed the service. In typical Microsoft fashion, the company tried to drive Passport use by bundling the service with a popular product--in this case, MSN Hotmail--but few customers actually used Passport for anything valuable and the service languished. I don't think I'm alone is bidding Passport adieu without any sense of regret whatsoever. It was a solution in search of a problem."
The Liberty Alliance reference is an important consideration -- this was a class-level failure to gain momentum, i.e., no other instance (broad-based alternative to Passport) won. In any case, I suspect the people gleefully dismissing this as yet another massive Microsoft misfire will eventually be surprised when they realize Passport is the biggest instance around, when the class of service it represents starts to gain traction.