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The OpenID Dillemma

There seems to be a trend, as of recently, for large companies to become OpenID providers, but now allow logging into their service with your OpenID account. The trend I'm noticing, is everyone wants to be a provider, but no one wants to support OpenID logins. Well not "no one", but not the major players. Consider the following major corporations or web sites that are OpenID providers:

  • America Online
  • Orange
  • LiveJournal and Vox
  • Yahoo!
  • Blogger
  • Verisign
  • ... and more

Supposedly, news has hit the front that Microsoft will be supporting OpenID as a provider, and rumors have it that your GMail account can be used as an OpenID identity. But what about logging into these providers with an existing identity? Here's the question posed: Can I login to AOL, or create and AOL account, with an already existing OpenID identity? What about LiveJournal? WordPress? Yahoo!? Blogger? etc.


Like mentioned earlier, the big players are willing to throw their support behind being a provider, but not allowing the creation of new accounts, or signing into existing accounts, with previously setup identities. So, what's the point then? If everyone has an identity to use, but no one can use it, what's the point of creating the identity to begin with? I thought OpenID was all about 1 account and 1 password. Yet, I still have to login to Yahoo! with my Yahoo! account. I still have to login to GMail with my GMail account. And I still have to login to AOL with my already existing AOL account. So, it's a far cry from the single login that OpenID is working so hard to achieve.

My cry to the providers, is if you really want to support OpenID, then allow users access to their account through an already existing OpenID identity. Don't only become a provider, but show 100% support by giving them the ability to login with their OpenID account. I don't want 500 OpenID accounts that I can't use, because my providers won't allow me login access with them.

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