SmoothSpan Blog

For Executives, Entrepreneurs, and other Digerati who need to know about SaaS and Web 2.0.

Where is Amazon on OpenID?

Posted by Bob Warfield on February 7, 2008

Every boy and his dog has embraced OpenID, at least among the larger web properties.  Even Microsoft is going to play ball, so the standard is going to be a big part of the day-to-day nuts and bolts of Cloud Computing.  Meanwhile, there are 300,000 accounts on Amazon Web Services and more Internet traffic to the Web Services than to Amazon’s retail side.  It’s about high time Amazon was announcing an OpenID service as part of their offering.  How about it, Amazon?

This is one of those litmus tests for where Amazon is really going.  Their mainstream business doesn’t need or probably want OpenID.  It’s an E-Commerce business that has a well-developed identity service already.  Yet a lot of the rest of the world is embracing OpenID.  A good identity service is a major component that would add a lot of value to the Amazon Ecosystem and be one less undifferentiated thing for developers to worry about building.  Can Amazon develop and bring to market a component of Amazon Web Services that has no use to their mainstream business?  I would love to see them do that to prove the point that AWS is not just a remaindering service or fifth wheel.

What about it, Amazon?

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4 Responses to “Where is Amazon on OpenID?”

  1. misomian said

    It seems far more likely that they’d offer their own ID service, allowing users with existing Amazon accounts to log in to sites using the e-mail and password they’ve already registered with Amazon. This would allow Amazon to offer enhanced features such as users optionally sharing their Wish Lists, etc. with the site they’re logging in to, which could ultimately lead others back to Amazon to purchase something. Eg., let’s say Pownce.com allows me to sign in with my Amazon credentials and share my Wish List on my profile. People might click on some of the books and decide to buy them either for me or for themselves. Amazon makes money, Pownce will take a commission by using an Amazon Affiliate ID, and they’re both happy (maybe I am, too, if someone bought me a book). Heck, Amazon would probably even charge a small fee for every X number of authentication requests and make money that way, too.

    OpenID is very appealing in its own right, both to users and developers, but if Amazon does jump into the authentication game I’m pretty sure we can count on them to take the route that offers them the most monetization potential.

  2. smoothspan said

    You’re right, it does seem more likely they’ll go with their own service, but there are arguments to me made against. Not the least of which is that they themselves may decide they don’t neccessarily want to share their own identity system with the world. Any hiccups there would be the worst thing that could happen to their core business.

    Also, one of the tests Amazon must sooner or later undergo is whether they will in fact deliver any technologies via AWS that aren’t used by the core service. I would take it as a good omen if they would!

  3. […] cloud and you could go far.  One thing I think is glaringly apparent and needed, for example, is an OpenID service for Amazon.  There are many many others.  Deconstruct the current On-premises IT ecosystem and see what […]

  4. Tom (@Tom) said

    .@ChrisMessina showed they’ve been using it since 2009 at least: https://secure.flickr.com/photos/factoryjoe/3749846581/

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