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4/27/2006
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Microsoft Nearly Finished With Windows Live ID Deployment

The technology will allow someone who has subscribed to multiple Windows Live services to sign in to one and be simultaneously signed in to all the others.

Microsoft Corp. says it's nearly done with its deployment of Windows Live ID, the authentication service that will replace Passport.

Windows Live ID will enable someone who has subscribed to multiple Live services to sign in to one, and be simultaneously signed in to all the others. As a result, a person can move from one service to another without repeating the sign-in process.

In the Windows Live ID blog, Trevin Chow, lead program manager, said the development team is "nearly complete with our deployment," adding that the transition from Passport has gone mostly unnoticed by the end user.

"It's a good thing that you haven't noticed, otherwise we would have been in serious trouble since it would have meant something went wrong," Chow said.

The first noticeable difference is the fact that all sign-ins are starting at the new URL, login.live.com. During the next week or so, the new sign-in experience will be noticed at three Live services, Mail, which will eventually replace HotMail; Expo, the online classifieds service; and Window Live, the personalized portal.

Program manager Lynn Ayres is responsible for the design of the user interface for the Windows Live ID Sign-in and would release details in the next few days, Chow said.

To date, Windows Live ID has mostly been a re-branding of Passport, Joe Wilcox, analyst for JupiterResearch, said.

"(Passport) is in transition," Wilcox said. Eventually, the new authentication service will enable a person to "sign in once to sign in everywhere."

"But we'll have to wait and see how that actually works," Wilcox said.

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