Microsoft partners to create universal shopping list

Microsoft Corp. on Monday announced a deal with Web commerce services provider Inc. that will see the companies integrate the latter's universal shopping list with .NET technologies.

Initially, the two companies will jointly enable's functionality and Microsoft's Passport single sign-on service to work together, according to Rob Wight, CEO of Celebration, Florida-based's universal list is a means for connecting product manufacturers with users and purchasers, Wight said. Passport will serve as the single registration piece of that list, thereby enabling users to access multiple Web properties while only signing on once.

"We're working in one area of user-centric commerce - putting the user in control," Wight said.

Microsoft, for its part, and chairman and chief software architect Bill Gates particularly, has been spending much of its evangelizing energy on the concept of giving users more and more power. Last week, at Microsoft's research event, Future Forum, Gates said of Microsoft's efforts: "There's a constant theme of putting the user in control."

In the longer-term, the companies plan to work together on deployment of Microsoft HailStorm services, as they become available.

"We see a lot of the services Microsoft is including in .NET as completing our offerings," Wight said.

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