Today Microsoft takes another big step towards Data Portability by announcing their Contacts API for their Live Platform. To quote John Richards, Director of Live Platform (an active participant in the DataPortability project) from the press release:
"To tackle the issue of contact data portability it is important to reconcile the larger issue of data ownership. Who owns the data, like email addresses in a Windows Live Hotmail address book? We firmly believe that we are simply stewards of customers’ data and that customers should be able to choose how they control and share their data. We think customers should be able to share their data in the most safe and secure way possible, but historically this openness has been achieved largely through a mechanism called “screen-scraping,” which unduly puts customers at risk for phishing attacks, identity fraud, and spam. Now with the Windows Live Contacts API, we have provided an alternative to “screen-scraping” that is equally open but unequivocally safer and more secure for customers. "
This is another strong example of how committed Microsoft is to data portability in general and the DataPortability project specifically.
As things take shape in the DataPortability Project, we will have specific recommendations for Microsoft and all other vendors to make sure that their APIs are seamlessly inter-operable with other DataPortability enabled applications.