Microsoft shrinks back from Hailstorm

Microsoft shrinks back from Hailstorm

Microsoft has pulled back from its server-based e-wallet project, My Services, after failing to convince large corporates like AmEx, Citigroup and Amazon to back the idea.

My Services was first previewed under the Hailstorm code-name in March last year. Billed as one of the cornerstones of Microsoft's .NET strategy, the idea was to create a centralised clearing house for consumer billing data which would be shared by large merchants, banks and credit card companies.

However, Microsoft is understood to have scaled back its ambitions after larger corporations objected to sharing sensitive customer data across a single networked entity. The company is instead looking to shrinkwrap My Services into a package which can be sold to individual enterprise.

News of the rethink has been quietly leaked as Microsoft talks up the .NET framework at its annual Tech·Ed developer conference. The change in direction bodes ill for other big picture projects within the .NET enterprise. With the SUN-led Liberty Alliance programme winning the backing of the major credit card companies, Microsoft's much-vaunted Passport authentication programme looks particularly vulnerable.

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