now there a re news around LiveID: Go out and use it!!! (see here)
I saw some reactions on this saying what a jump for Microsoft this is and so on.
But this should be of no surprise. Because Microsoft is on its way to be a platform provider of the next decade.
First let's start with the notion of a platform provider. A platform provider is an institution that provide parts that are generic enough to build what ever solution is desired, and specific enough to do this adequatly fast.
Seeing platforms of the past decade this started by being software libraries and operating systems. The idea of obejct oreintation brought of class libraries, seperation of concerns, distributed objects, and so on. On the other hand the complexity of the single solution started to grow to such an extend that it seemed no longer controlable. Also the wish to integrate already established solutions without recode them all the time brought us ideas like EAI or SOA (yes, I do oversimplify). So the notion of platform simply grew higher and higher. Today a relational database is part of the platform where it used to be something special ten years ago.
So, what is the next step in this motion? Well, it is to provide baseline services in the web.
We all observe this ideas around the next web. the notion of mashups bring programming to the next iteration step (while still huge problems have to be solved in that space). Mashing up things really reminds my of using (or stitching together) the parts of a platform. But this platform is distributed all over the web.
Still, there are basic requirements to satisfy like storage or identity (see !!), while new ones arise like searching or using advertising for monetisation.
So, hey... what surprised you with LiveID??