Is it just me or is Higgins really vague?

Ok. So let me get this straight. Higgins is an API that will let developers consistently manipulate identity information in different systems, such as LDAP, WS-*, Email, and IM.

Similar concept to JNDI, right?

I’m confused as to how this will directly compete with Infocard. Saying that Higgins competes with InfoCard is like saying that Eclipse competes with InfoCard, is it not? You could use Higgins to create an Identity Selector that one day competes with InfoCard, true. You could also write mulitple Identity Selectors with Higgins that compete with each other – so the competition aspect has little to do with the API, as far as I can see. Either way, creation of a competing Identity Selector is hardly a bad thing, MS is actively encouraging development of identity selectors for other platforms, and seems willing to go head to head with anyone who tries competing on Windows. In fact, I personally think that it can’t be anything but GOOD for Microsoft – IMO, the worst thing that could happen to MS is that nobody bothers to compete at all, and InfoCard withers due to lack of adoption.

I’m not saying it isn’t a good idea, in fact I think it could be great.  I just feel like all the press articles were asking the WRONG questions. Personally, I want more concrete information on exactly what the API will sit in front of. If an API separates applications and libraries, what are those applications, or at least what are the libraries? Do those systems really have enough components in common to ensure that using the abstracted interface actually saves developers time, compared to using the existing mature and well documented APIs?

Those are the things I wonder…