The OpenID Foundation announced today that technology leaders Google, IBM, Microsoft, VeriSign & Yahoo! have joined the foundation to promote open identity management on the Web. Although, Yahoo! membership isn't news because they had joined the foundation last month itself, see:Yahoo! To Support OpenID Standard.
The OpenID Foundation came in to being in June 2007 to support and promote the technology developed by the OpenID community. It's members includes every one from individuals, students, non-profits, startups to industry giants that, all united to develop and promote open identity management on the Web.
"With this support from the new company board members, the OpenID Foundation will be able to continue to promote and protect the technology and its community moving forward," said Bill Washburn, Executive Director, OpenID Foundation. "The community has clearly expanded since the inception of the Foundation and these companies will help bring OpenID into the mainstream markets."
As of today there are over 10,000 Web sites supporting OpenID log-ins, and there are about 350 million OpenID enabled URLs which exist. The foundation has achieved its present status with support from various entities in the industry, there have been donations of legal resources by Microsoft and other contributions from Google, IBM, VeriSign and Yahoo!.
While big names are involved but just about anyone can join apart from large corporations. There membership fee of course is usually $50 per year for students membership, on the other hand individuals may need to spend $100/year. Companies usually pay fee according to their size.
In 2008 the foundation plans to focus on making OpenID even more accessible to a mainstream audience, the development of a World-wide trademark usage policy and to achieve an even larger international focus on working with the OpenID communities in Asia and Europe.