The schadenfraude is kicking in now. It seems Google is no longer beyond reproach, as it announces a new Identity API. In this comparison piece against the Microsoft version (Live ID) (via Dare), the writer compares the distributed identity and trust model that Microsoft has been evolving over the years against the centralized Google model. The problem with this that I see is that it is not comparing Apples to Apples. Google is simply providing an API that allows other services or products that integrate (via Mashups for example) with Google to utilize a common authentication mechanism. Yep - it is a closed system. Does it mean there isn't a path for something else that does interop or a federated implementation later? - nope. It seems to me that Google has simply done the simplest thing that could possibly work first.