Cam writes about HailStorm: "The problem is that nobody wants or trusts Microsoft to control this 'gateway' to ecommerce and Internet-based services." I see this assumption often when reading critiques of HailStorm, and I think this is one of those issues for which we need to realize that we are geeks — and the rest of the world is not. The truth is, there are millions (more like tens of millions) of people who wouldn't think twice about trusting Microsoft with their data (not that they'll probably even realize that's what they're doing). If it was true that "nobody wants or trusts Microsoft" in this capacity, then it really wouldn't be a problem, would it? Simply, no one would use HailStorm when it came out. But people will use it, because it will do some cool and convenient things. And, as Internet users have demonstrated time and again, they value convenience over privacy nearly every time. The Microsoft trust issue may keep more sophisticated users away — and it may be a hurdle to getting developers building on HailStorm, which MS needs in order to build momentum. But as soon as HailStorm attracts a few million unconcerned users (remember, Passport already has tens of millions of users and, until recently, had an atrocious privacy policy), many companies will decide it's too lucrative and important to ignore. Let's just hope there are enough other compelling alternative solutions to the problems HailStorm is trying to solve (ones not trying to compete on only privacy policies or standards compliance, but on demonstrable user value and whiz-bang) that MS won't get into a comfy enough position to start abusing it's power in this space.