OpenID eliminates the need for multiple usernames across different websites, simplifying your online experience. You get to choose the OpenID Provider that best meets your needs and most importantly that you trust. At the same time, your OpenID can stay with you, no matter which Provider you move to. And best of all, the OpenID technology is not proprietary and is completely free.
OpenID originally hatched at Six Apart in Brad Fitzpatrick’s office as a plan to allow TypePad, LiveJournal and Vox users to comment on each others’ blogs. Brad dubbed it YADIS, created a mailing list, and an initial implementation.
A week later, give or take, we renamed it to OpenID, someone donated the domain name and I banged out a logo.