Some websites use the OpenID standard so that users don’t even need to type a password to sign in. While Google does not yet support the usage of OpenID for replacing passwords on its own sites, we are involved in the OpenID community’s efforts to research how to best implement that type of support.
As a next step in those community efforts, we announced today the use of OpenID for the Google signup process.
Currently, Google only offers this feature for Yahoo! users. However, as it is based on an Internet standard, we plan to use it in the future with other email providers that add support for this usage of OpenID and related standards like OAuth, such as in the Microsoft Live identity APIs.
Other websites that need to verify a user’s email address can also implement this technique using Yahoo!’s OpenID API. In addition, it can be used to verify the addresses of Gmail and Google Apps users because those email systems expose the necessary APIs for OpenID. For example, Plaxo is one of the many websites that takes advantage of this feature of Gmail and Yahoo! Mail.