Microsoft to open Passport for rivals |  Security, Network access control

Microsoft has also been under increasing pressure from consumer and privacy groups to ensure that Passport doesn't limit consumer privacy. A collection of advocacy groups filed a complaint with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission in July alleging that Microsoft was using unfair and deceptive trade practices to influence customer to sign up for a Passport and divulge personal information. The Center for Democracy and Technology has also been in ongoing discussions with Microsoft on the issue.

However, Microsoft said legal and industry pressure had not affected the development of Passport. "That's not any guiding force here," Arbogast said.

Microsoft also announced Wednesday a new moniker for its set of Web services, previously code-named Hailstorm, which rely on Passport as a central authentication system. Now called .Net My Service, the set of services allows users to store information centrally on the Web and access that information from a variety of computing devices, including PCs and handheld devices.

Microsoft, in Redmond, Washington, can be reached at +1-425-882-8080, or online at

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