Hardt, one of the unique personalities in the busy identity community and a vocal Identity 2.0 advocate, will have the title "partner architect" and will be working on consumer, enterprise and government identity problems, he said on his .
Hardt said he was recruited by Microsoft because he is an "independent thinker." Microsoft has benefited greatly from the work of other independent thinkers notably identity architect Kim Cameron, who has been instrumental in evolving the company's identity platform and its integration with other vendors, protocols and tools.
"I think the hiring of Dick Hardt is another proof point that Microsoft is serious about identity," said Jackson Shaw, senior director of product management for Active Directory and integration solutions at Quest Software. "I believe it is also a further sign that Microsoft wants to avoid a Microsoft-centric 'Passport' type solution. They are, quite clearly, thinking much bigger -- Azure, Geneva and CardSpace are on their way or already delivered so we know they are serious. Dick, along with Kim Cameron and others at Microsoft, will further help to ensure that Microsoft 'thinks big' in this important area."
Hardt, whose reputation is that of an entrepreneur, said on his blog: "I view the opportunity to come in at a senior level and learn how big enterprise and big software works a great learning experience. I'm also excited about changes that are afoot at Microsoft such as Azure and to work beside a bunch of really smart people!"