Google, IBM and VeriSign in talks to join OpenID

Google, IBM and VeriSign are all in talks with the OpenID foundation with a view to joining imminently, according to a highly-placed source. Digg, Technorati, Microsoft, AOL, Plaxo and WikiPedia have previously announced their intention to support the standard which is seen as an easy way for users to use a single digital identity across the Internet. The official news about the new players is expected to come some time late this month or next.

The move is being put down to a lot of behind the scenes work done by the OpenID Foundation to convince the major players that a single log-in for their services could increase consumer adoption of new web services. In addition, Brad Fitzpatrick, leader of the Google-led OpenSocial project and credited as the founder of OpenID, is almost certain to have pushed Google internally to adopt it.

As announced Tuesday, Fitzpatrick will represent Google in the DataPortability organisation, so the OpenID moves this month will bring the entire issue of user data into the centre of industry concerns. There have already been signs Google would do this. Its “Blogger in Draft” program that tests functionality for its Blogger blogging platform rolled out OpenID support for comments back in November. But with Google joining the OpenID movement, it looks like the concept is poised to be properly sold into the mainstream of users this year.