It isn't entirely a joke (or a fair statement) that Microsoft has become a legal department traveling as a software company. Yet there are some upsides. One is that some very smart lawyers at a very large company have had to engage Reality through company technologists brave and determined enough to engage the open source community in constructive collaboration.
With positive results.
That's what has been going on with the corner of Microsoft that has been involved in the Identity Space.
I'm writing this from a room where Microsoft technologists are meeting with friends — and that's what they are now — with Red Hat, Novell, Higgins, XRI/XDI/i-Names and other open source efforts — as well as others from the customer side. They're talking right now about the Microsoft Open Specification Promise. The intention of the promise is to make Microsoft-developed (and -co-developed) technolgies completely useful by open source projects. Or maybe by anybody.
I don't have time to write more at the moment. But I'd like to hear what you think. This is original and well-intended work by honorable people who really want the whole market to work, and not just for one company to muscle everybody else.
It's also a beginning. Times are a-changing. Everybody can help with that.