Passport isn't the ticket

Microsoft Passport isn’t proving a big hit with consumers, and according to Gartner Group survey more than 70% of respondents that haven’t signed up to Passport yet, say they are highly unlikely to do so in the next six months.

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By  Zoe Moleshead Published  August 27, 2001

Microsoft Passport isn’t proving a big hit with consumers, who are either disinterested or distrustful of the service, according to a Gartner Group survey. More than 70% of respondents that haven’t signed up to Passport yet, say they are highly unlikely to do so in the next six months.

The Passport allows users to sign in with just one user ID and password, and will also be used for Microsoft Hailstorm services in the future.

"The sobering reality is that the overwhelming majority of consumers are not interested in Passport," said Avivah Litan, vice president and research director at Gartner. "Consumers are primarily concerned with their privacy and security, and they are not willing to sacrifice privacy in exchange for advanced Web interaction services, such as those offered by Passport."

The overriding reason for users to sign up to Passport is to access services, particularly Hotmail. But, only 11% of US consumers believe that Passport will improve their online experience.

"Because Passport will be bundled into Windows XP, Microsoft will enrol tens of millions of consumers into Passport over the next two years," Litan said. "Most consumer use of the service, however, is likely to be limited to Passport's most basic function - 'single sign-on' across Web sites that accept Passport."

The survey also revealed a lack of trust in Microsoft when it comes to protecting personal details. Only 15% of respondents affirmatively trust Microsoft to properly protect their credit card and other personal information.

Respondents also proved uninterested in the services to be offered by Hailstorm. 90% claimed they are not interested in sharing personal data in exchange for personalised services. While only 10% of respondents who know they are registered with Passport say that they have used Passport at non-Microsoft sites.

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