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Intel, Oracle Join Liberty Alliance

In its bid to sign up more influential members for single sign-on services, Liberty Alliance Monday said it has accepted the bids of Intel and Oracle as sponsor members.

The move is somewhat of a coup for the identity management organization, which is looking to provide an alternative software service to Microsoft's Passport product.

Like Passport, software created under Liberty allows users to sign on securely from almost any computing device. Java steward Sun Microsystems is an early prominent member.

Safeguarding such Web services is paramount at a time when security concerns hold back the adoption of software-as-service models. But with Microsoft ally Intel and rival Oracle choosing Liberty over Passport, the consortium got a little stronger.

As sponsors, Intel and Oracle will be entitled to use federated identity technical specifications as well as business and policy guidelines. Liberty brought other new sponsor members to the fold, including the Business Industry Political Action Committee, Gamefederation, Kayak Interactive, Mobile Telephone Networks and Sharp Laboratories of America.

In related news, Computer Associates, Giesecke & Devrient and Trustgenix have upgraded their membership to become sponsors, and 11 organizations have recently joined the alliance as new associate and affiliate members, bringing the total number of those active to 157. These include Al-Elm Information Security, BMC Software, Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute, Interoperability Clearinghouse, Terraplay Systems AB, T-Online International AG, and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Liberty members AOL, Fidelity Investments, Hewlett-Packard, Nokia, Novell, NTT, Oracle, Sun Microsystems, Trustgenix and Vodafone plan to demonstrate the interoperability of the consortium's specs Wednesday at the Burton Group Catalyst Conference in San Diego, Calif.

Liberty Alliance ID-FF 1.1, 1.2 and ID-WSF 1.0 specifications will be employed in a demo that illustrates opt-in account linking, simplified sign-on, attribute sharing and discovery service in numerous business scenarios. Last month, Liberty certified products from nine vendors.