Thanks to James Akrigg for pointing out that the Live ID team has released the Windows Live ID Client 1.0 Alpha SDK.  This may be used in conjunction with Office Live - visit Partner-TV to see a demo by Tim Kimber.

From their blog:

The Windows Live ID Client 1.0 SDK provides a managed API for Windows Live sign-in authentication. Included in the release is a sample application with its source code, so that you can build your own client applications.

The sample application demonstrates the following functions:

  • Users can sign in to your application using the sleek Windows Live-designed authentication user interface.
  • Users can save their user name and/or password so that their sign-in information persists the next time they run the application.
  • From within the sample application, users can create a blog that is automatically posted on their Windows Live Space.
  • The application will launch an Internet browser, and users are automatically signed in to their Windows Live Space.

The benefits of implementing the Windows Live ID authentication service include:

  • No need to worry about the technical details of authentication! The Windows Live ID authentication service manages this process for you.
  • Don’t bother worrying about how to store and retrieve user account information! The Windows Live ID service uses the same functionality as Messenger to cache the user name and/or password for use in subsequent user sign ins.
  • Forget about creating, storing, and maintaining user accounts! The Windows Live ID service hosts and manages the Web flows and account services to enable account sign up, credential viewing and updating, and profile management.
  • Gain hundreds of millions of potential users of your application! By enabling Windows Live accounts direct sign in to your application, anyone with a Windows Live ID can become a user of your product.

The Windows Live ID team is working on new and improved features to the Windows Live ID Client 1.0 SDK, which will be announced on dev.live.com.

Please download the SDK and let us know what you think. Your feedback is greatly appreciated and will help us shape the final product. Post your feedback and support requests to the Windows Live ID discussion forum on dev.live.com.

Click here to download the Windows Live ID Client 1.0 SDK Alpha release from connect.microsoft.com!