Dick Hardt joins Microsoft's Identity Team

John Fontana from Network World has picked up on one of the big deals in my life recently – Dick Hardt is joining our team at Microsoft.  John Fontana posted this in Network World

Noted identity innovator Dick Hardt has agreed to join Microsoft to help the company shape its identity platform.

Hardt, one of the unique personalities in the busy identity community and a vocal Identity 2.0 advocate, will have the title “partner architect” and will be working on consumer, enterprise and government identity problems, he said on his blog

Hardt said he was recruited by Microsoft because he is an “independent thinker.” Microsoft has benefited greatly from the work of other independent thinkers notably identity architect Kim Cameron, who has been instrumental in evolving the company's identity platform and its integration with other vendors, protocols and tools.

“I think the hiring of Dick Hardt is another proof point that Microsoft is serious about identity,” said Jackson Shaw, senior director of product management for Active Directory and integration solutions at Quest Software. “I believe it is also a further sign that Microsoft wants to avoid a Microsoft-centric ‘Passport’ type solution. They are, quite clearly, thinking much bigger – Azure, Geneva and CardSpace are on their way or already delivered so we know they are serious. Dick, along with Kim Cameron and others at Microsoft, will further help to ensure that Microsoft ‘thinks big’ in this important area.”

Hardt, whose reputation is that of an entrepreneur, said on his blog: “I view the opportunity to come in at a senior level and learn how big enterprise and big software works a great learning experience. I'm also excited about changes that are afoot at Microsoft such as Azure and to work beside a bunch of really smart people!”

He also said he relished the opportunity to come in and work with his “Foo Camp friends Jon Udell, Dana Boyd and of course Ray Ozzie.” Foo Camp is an annual hacker event put on by O'Reilly Media.

Hardt, most recently the chair of Sxipper, a position he will retain, comes in at a time when Microsoft is working to marry its newly minted Geneva identity strategy with its services push.

Sxipper was a spin-off from Sxip Identity, where Hardt first began to gain notice in the identity community with his rapid-fire Identity 2.0 presentation. Sixp Identity developed a technology called Sxip Access, which Google used as the foundation of a single sign-on bridge to corporate directories. Sxip later sold the technology to Ping Identity

In addition to his identity background, Hardt also has worked extensively with open source. He founded ActiveState in 1997 and developed tools for open source programming languages, and he ported the Perl programming language to Windows. 

In February, he showed off for the first time his newest work to create “address book 2.0,” a social networking “flow application” that presents a user's contact data in context with what they are viewing on the Internet.

There has never been a better presentation on identity than Dick's presentation on Identity 2.0.  He has played a pivotal role as a catalyst and contributed great thinking and technical ideas to the identity community as an important figure in OpenID.   It's exciting to think that we'll be working together more closely – I have no doubt that Microsoft will be a good place for him to continue all the good work he has beein doing, as a key figure in moving user-centric identity forward as fast as possible.

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Kim Cameron

Work on identity.

3 thoughts on “Dick Hardt joins Microsoft's Identity Team”

  1. I like the idea of Information Cards as being “electronic identity cards” that ordinary consumers can use for online tasks such as credit card payments, access to online banking, etc. But Dick is on record as stating that Information cards are a “strong, enterprise grade solution that is currently too heavy for general consumer use.” I hope that Dick has changed his mind on this. I'd like to see more emphasis on making Information Cards and Cardspace practical to use for consumers. I think the electronic identity card/credit card metaphor provided by Infocards and Cardspace, if it can be made easy to use, is more intuitive and more secure than OpenID.

  2. I think the word “currently” is the operative word in Dick's analysis. Information Cards do need to evolve in the ways you are calling for.

    But there should be no mistake about what is going on here. Information Cards are fundamental to Internet identity for consumers as well as enterprises. Dick is joining our team to help carry these ideas forward, not torpedo them.

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