Feeds

Force-feeding MS Passport works – study

A fine marketing strategy

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

Netizens don't much care for the Microsoft Passport gimmick but they do nevertheless put up with it, a recent Gartner survey indicates.

"Microsoft has managed to double its number of registered Passport users in just six months, from 7 million who were registered in August 2001 to 14 million who were registered as of February 2002," the pollsters tell us.

But that doesn't mean customers like it, or seek it, or even approve of it. "Most consumers are signing up because they have to and not because of a strong interest in the convenience features Passport offers," Gartner researcher Avivah Litan says.

MS will obviously benefit financially from high Passport subscription numbers as it attempts to sell its .NET services. The more people it can corral, or appear to corral, the more more valuable the consumer base it promises to deliver will appear.

"This, in turn, earns Microsoft higher advertising revenue, more lucrative affiliate deals, and potential customer referral transaction fees in the future," Litan notes.

The subtle coercion involved doesn't seem to be turning consumers off. Many may sense that they're being patronized and coopted into something that benefits MS a good deal more than it does them; but they want their Hotmail and MSN Messenger and access to the developer sites, and Passport is the price of entry.

As for whether the Passport database offers much of real value to MS' .NET partners, we may well wonder. Surely it contains a good deal of fictitious registration data. Significantly, Gartner found that only twelve per cent of respondents said they trust MS to handle on-line financial services.

So this makes us wonder if more than a small minority of Passport holders actually take it seriously. Obviously, to persuade companies to invest in its .NET services, MS is going to have to convince them that Passport users do take it seriously, and do trust Redmond with their data. The numbers alone tell us only that Passport isn't offensive enough to drive people away.

A company impressed with Passport's growth in popularity needs to question whether that reflects consumer trust and acceptance, or mere capitulation. Surely, the value of .NET to companies other than MS can only be determined on that basis. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
10 Top Tips For PRs Considering Whether To Phone The Register
You'll Read These And LOL Even Though They're Serious
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.