Mozilla today released the first public beta version of Persona, a decentralized authentication system for the web that is maintained by Mozilla.
Designed as an alternative to OpenID or OAuth, Mozilla says that it is making the technology available to eliminate the need to remeber passwords for a number of sites. Persona is offered free of charge around the world. In this beta version, the technology already supports 25 languages.
The sign-up process consists of the user's email address and password and is done in less than a minute at https://login.persona.org.
Supported browsers include Internet Explorer 8 and 9, as well as the latest stable releases of Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera on the desktop; Mobile Safari on iOS 5.x and up; as well as Android's default browser 2.x and up; Chrome and Mozilla. Browsers that are explicitly not supported include IE 6 and 7, Google Chrome Frame, as well as third party browsers on iOS.
To work properly, browsers will eventually have to support Mozilla's navigator.id API. Until that happens, Mozilla is offering an implementation that can be used to work in all browsers mentioned above: Webmasters will have to use the https://login.persona.org/include.js file to start using Persona until native integrations of the API are available.
Websites that begin using an integration of Persona can also take advantage of a capability to integrate a fall-back ID provider, should the login of their users fail.