Hailstorm finally blows over

From its puzzling codename to its worrisome premise, this project was bound to fail

This week, Microsoft very quietly pulled the plug on its My Services/Persona/Hailstorm initiative. Dont worry if youre among the millions who dont know what this was or why you should care.

Simply put, this was Microsofts grand Web services plan, in which it would become the gatekeeper for everyones personal individual Web services. Doing business with a bank? No problem, Microsoft will handle all the nasty work of sending all your personal information. Did we mention that Microsoft would be storing all your personal information? Dont worry, the company would never share that, or build poorly secured infrastructures that would make it possible for others to steal it.

Is it any wonder this thing was a big failure? Never mind the fact that, in order for it to work, all the big banks and credit card companies had to let Microsoft in as an intermediary between them and their customers, something they were very reluctant to do. Now My Services will probably only live on as a kind of glorified Passport/Wallet.

My Services was clearly doomed from the start. After all, what kind of code name is Hailstorm? Isnt a hailstorm a bad thing that makes everyone run inside while it damages everything in sight? Well, maybe it wasnt such a bad code name after all.

East Coast Technical Director Jim Rapoza can be reached at jim_rapoza@ziffdavis.com.