Since its inception, the Microsoft Passport service has existed in a digital world that is increasingly multi-centered and rich in contexts. This digital world requires the sharing and federation of identities and close attention to matters of user control. These requirements have led Microsoft to evolve the Passport service continuously. To emphasize this evolution, Microsoft is changing the name of the service to something more indicative of its specific contribution to the emerging “identity metasystem”: the Windows Live ID service.
Windows Live and Office Live are Internet-based software services designed to deliver rich, seamless experiences to individuals and small businesses. The offerings combine the power of software with online services to make compelling new tools that complement Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office products.
Microsoft online services need to know who is interacting with them—just as users need to know that the services themselves are legitimate. This mutual need requires the use of digital identities. The Windows Live ID service is designed to manage identity and trust within the Windows Live ecosystem.
For end users, the Windows Live ID service provides roaming access to the broad array of Microsoft online services. For developers, it enables over 300 million potential online users to access their applications.