Friday, December 31, 2004

Microsoft Passport Canceled, Content eCommerce Dominance Still Up for Grabs

The LA Times noted along with other major outlets that eBay had posted a quiet announcement that it had ceased supporting the use of Microsoft's Passport "wallet" service as a means of payment. Microsoft confirmed that in the future the Passport feature will be used to manage logins to Microsoft-owned content and media properties but would no longer be used to support general payment services. Microsoft is just the latest in a long string of players who have tried to dominate online purchasing with "grand unification" schemes which have made both purchasers and sellers uneasy with attempted dominance of privacy and profits. But in truth the proliferation of content-consuming platforms is to blame as much as any other factor: too many people use too many different devices to make the Windows-oriented Passport scheme a successful play in the long run. The world of content ecommerce still does not have an effective universal backbone for managing subscriptions to premium content online, an area still dominated by major aggregators in business and professional content and by a number of small players in individually-oriented media. Shore expects 2005 to be a year in which clear patterns in simplified content ecommerce for individuals and institutions to begin to emerge, focused on the need for content ecommerce to allow usage rights for content objects to flow naturally from platform to platform.
Post a Comment