If you’re one of those people who hates to have multiple logins for every site you come to (and I know I do), it’s great to see more big players like Microsoft, Google and Yahoo joining the OpenID project as board members. The more weight the idea gets behind it, the more likely that sites will use it, and Microsoft/Yahoo and Google pull a lot of weight.
As Mike Arrington at TechCrunch notes, however, this announcement only goes partway towards making it easy for you and I to employ one single sign-on for a multitude of sites. Why? Because all of the players involved are happy to join the team, but only Google has taken the extra step of becoming what’s called a “relying party” — meaning it accepts OpenID logins from other services and websites, which is kind of the whole point.
So yes, you can create an OpenID at MyOpenID or another trusted site (my OpenID page is here), but you won’t be able to use your Yahoo-generated or Microsoft-generated OpenID persona at one of the other big-name portals — at least not yet. So we’re falling well short of the interoperability thing. Hopefully some of those moves will start happening soon.