There has been some interesting news on Microsoft and Identity recently. Of course there is the recent acquisition o f U-prove. You can read Stefan Brands’ thoughts here and Kim Cameron’s here. I think that this is in theory a great move for Microsoft that could be very beneficial to the internet at large.
The real question is whether the theoretical benefits will ever realized by significant relying party adoption. As with SAML, OpenID, and Information Cards/Cardspace, it doesn’t matter how good the idea is or how many vendors back it, if popular relying parties don’t adopt it, it will remain an interesting topic of conversation and nothing more. I hope this catches on, I am just not betting on it.
There have been some interesting discussion going on at DEC (which I missed unfortunately). John Fontana has articles on it here, here, and here. There are three interesting thoughts here; Microsoft’s notion of an Identity Bus, opening the door to more standards adoption, and IdM as a service.
Of the three I think the notion of standards adoption is the most interesting to me personally since I have been involved in a lot of these standards activities. I would love to see Microsoft add support for the SAML protocol, XACML, and SPML.