Although no official announcements have yet been made, it appears as though Yahoo is gearing up to implement OpenID, a web authentication standard that eliminates the need to remember multiple passwords to log into different web sites. A subdomain of Yahoo, me.yahoo.com, features a short message that indicates they will act as an identity provider for OpenID.
Additionally, checking source code on pages at Flickr.com, which is owned by Yahoo, reveals OpenID initiatives. Once activated, users would be able to use their Flickr log-in and profile to log into other OpenID compatible websites. The identifying source code can be spotted by viewing the source of Flickr photostream pages.
OpenID is an open-source project which has received accolades from other top Internet companies including Microsoft and Google. However, neither company is yet providing wide support for the OpenID initiative. Other companies supporting OpenID include AOL, Technorati, LiveJournal, Bloglines, Orange, and hundreds of other websites.
OpenIDis a decentralized, single sign-on system that gets rid of the need to remember numerous usernames and passwords across various sites. Instead, users only need to be previously registered on a site with an OpenID identity provider (IdP). Because OpenID is decentralized, any website can set up the OpenID software to work with their site, and solves the issue without having to rely on any one central website to confirm identity.
Sites that act as an identity provider give users a unique URL, and when you encounter another site that supports OpenID, you can enter the URL along with the password registered with the identity to log-in at a new site. OpenID allows you to carry your profile and other information over to the new site.
With Yahoo clearly jumping on board, it could light a fire under other major players to get started on implementing OpenID for their sites and services as well.