Joel Spolsky writes a bit on microsoft’s passport ‘service’:

“Am I the only one who is terrified about Microsoft Passport? It seems to me like a fairly blatant attempt to build the world’s largest, richest consumer database, and then make fabulous profits mining it. It’s a terrifying threat to everyone’s personal privacy and it will make today’s “cookies” seem positively tame by comparison. The scariest thing is that Microsoft is advertising Passport as if it were a benefit to consumers, and people seem to be falling for it! By the time you’ve read this article, I can guarantee that I’ll scare you into turning off your Hotmail account and staying away from MSN web sites.”

perhaps not surprisingly, it seems to have hit a nerve or two

this anonymous response to a previous rant provides further evidence Joel actually writes and provokes – putting my mere appropriations to shame:

“It’s not just you…many of us at MS don’t even begin to understand what .NET is (and I even work on Passport, the shining example of a “web service”). Management spent nearly a year explaining how everyone needed to focus on NGWS and how we could all fit into the vision – without ever describing the goal. It was the proverbial answer in search of a question. All of a sudden it has a new name, seemingly an attempt to hide the fact that it still has no body. And to make things worse, they throw in a brand-new
programming language which is really nothing more but a copy of java which is unfinished, hasn’t been tested for five years, and lacks a large standard library.

I’ve asked around how this new .NET plan differs from everything we’ve been working on the past two years and haven’t been given a decent answer.”

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