Monday, February 14, 2011

End of OpenID?


I remembered few years ago, there was a boom trend about OpenID that will soon replace password-based authentication because it can solve the single sign-on (SSO) problem so that users could have a single identity that they used with multiple web sites (more than 50000 websites are already supporting OpenID currently and many more to come after many big organization become a OpenID providers, such as Google, Yahoo, and many more).

However, lately OpenID trends keeps decreasing and LWN posted an article about The End of OpenID? based on an article posted by WebMonkey called OpenID: The Web’s Most Successful Failure. I will try to summarize what happen.
  1. OpenID actually did solve the SSO problem without requiring users to create a new account whenever they wanted to use a service by a new website.
  2. OpenID also gives you the same identity over the Internet by using only a single identity that works everywhere.
  3. OpenID failed to deliver the same user experience due to different implementation by each vendor and websites because OpenID is not dependent to one organization.
  4. Facebook Connect does the same job and they have done it much better and people like it. Facebook's large user base also became a key factor on Facebook Connect success story. They have around 600 millions users.
We will keep seeing OpenID, but it's popularity will decrease over time and Facebook Connect will keep going and going on as their user base are keep growing and growing. I think OpenID will have to do better than current condition in order to be left by the user. 37 Signals has a plan to drop OpenID support as of May 1. Will other follow? We will see.....