Feeds

Nokia kingmaker in Passport-killer alliance

You've got authentication!

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Reducing security risks from open source software

Updated In one of the year's least surprising announcements, AOL has confirmed that it will join the "it's-not-Passport" coalition, the Liberty Alliance.

AOL will continue to develop its own "Magic Carpet" authentication services and make both Magic Carpert and the existing AOL client compatible with the Liberty spec. Whatever that might be - it's still very early days.

At the launch of the Alliance and ever since, Sun has hinted that AOL would join, but in its own sweet time.

AOL delivers a significant number of eyeballs, but the news doesn't have the seismic reverberations it might have had a couple of years ago. Back then, at the height of tulip mania, AOL was expanding into web appliances. The promise was that these Linux-based devices would deliver unto e-commerce vendors the grey and impoverished masses who don't own a PC. And that's still about half the population of the West. But the web appliance business died before making an impact.

No, the real kingmaker here is Nokia, and at the time of the first Alliance announcement we noted that despite the absence of Sun's heavyweight server rivals HP and IBM, the Liberty Alliance had scored a significant coup in persuading the major wireless carriers and handset manufacturers to join. It may take some time for phones to reach the number of transactions generated on desktop PCs, where Microsoft and its Passport sign-on have the advantage, but that day will surely come, and probably this decade.

Now Nokia, like AOL, has been thinking about authentication for some time too. In fact the Nokia's OMA, Open Mobile Architecture, platform provides two suites of source code: one for simple monochrome handsets; and one, Series 60, for posher Symbian smartphones. Both suites include authentication software. OMA also covers back-end software for carriers. If Nokia can make OMA and its own Club Nokia 'notaportal' portal Liberty-compatible, then the Alliance could become the default single-sign-on for the majority of the world's mobile phones.

In a statement this morning, Nokia confirmed that it joined Liberty specifically "in order to utilise it as the authentication dimension in our our architecture ... Liberty Alliance is the framework we want to bring [authentication] forward".

As yet Nokia has yet to announce its first licensee for OMA, although Matsushita is "examining" it. ®

Related Stories

Do Androids Dream of Electric Single Sign-Ons?
Web services marchitecture wars get personal
Friends of Sun rally for Passport-killer
Can Club Nokia thwart .NET?
Nokia touts Sony alliance, licenses phone apps

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
Bose says today IS F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.