Higgins, InfoCards, the 'Identity Metasystem', all names and things not well known. But they will have a fundamental impact on developments in the online sphere (in the broadest sense). Kim Cameron is (employed by Microsoft) one of the leaders in this field, on his weblog he again states the importance of what is happening. And someone who says this about his kids must be right;-) "It all reminds me of the moments when my kids (who are now out of beta) have..."
Perhaps the most important thing I can say is that neither IBM nor Novell, nor Sun or anyone else, is really my competitor in this space. The competition comes from the vast patchwork of one-off and ad-hoc identity contraptions that the whole industry has been forced to build because the architecture of the Internet is missing the identity layer, leaving our virtual world in grave danger. So far, the one-off contraptions have about 99% of the market. So there’s lots of space for all of us who want to change all that.