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.NET Passport

Windows XP strongly encourages users to get a .NET Passport (previously referred to as a Microsoft Passport). A .NET Passport provides one login name and password for access to all Passport-enabled Web sites and services such as Windows Messenger, MSN Mail, Hotmail, MSN Money Central, and e-commerce sites which support the optional Passport Wallet feature.

Hey, Who's Afraid of Microsoft Passport?

Microsoft Passport is a simple way to sign on and purchase items and services from a growing number of sites affiliated with (read “owned by”) Microsoft. Because people are so darned tired of having to remember tens of passwords (maybe even hundreds if you're a Web addict like me), the idea of using a simple MS Passport that stores your username, password, credit card info, and so forth, and promises to effortlessly log you on to all types of Web sites and services, might sound pretty alluring. I mean, I forget my passwords all the time, don't you? In fact, I keep a Notepad file on my computer of nothing but my passwords and other such stuff. If I don't have access to this file when I'm traveling and I want to, say, purchase a plane ticket, I'm out of luck, because I can't remember how to log in to Travelocity. (Of course, I keep this file in an encrypted file folder running under Windows XP, so it's not going to be easy for someone to liquidate my IRA. After the “substantial penalty for early withdrawal,” it's not going to amount to that much anyway!)


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