HailStorm is the codename for a Microsoft service "for storing and retrieving information". It was announced on March 19, 2001 in a press release. Key to the service is what was known at the time as the Microsoft Passport, now the Microsoft Account, a single sign-on webservice.
The type of data that Microsoft envisaged as being stored included calendar information, travel preferences, payment information and the company that someone works for. The service would not be free, but would be paid for by the end user whose information was being stored. It was envisaged that the information would be accessible for a variety of devices such as PDAs and cellphones, as well as computers. When it was announced it was due to enter beta testing later in 2001 and be released in 2002.
In fact it was never released. Microsoft renamed it to My Services and looked for partners operating in industries such as finance and travel, but was unable to find any. At the time it was announced there were concerns about what Microsoft would do with the data it held. An unnamed Microsoft .Net developer said "Microsoft was unable to persuade either consumer companies or software developers that it had solved all of the privacy and security issues raised by the prospect of keeping personal information in a centralized repository".
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- Markoff, John (11 April 2002). "Microsoft Has Quietly Shelved Its Internet 'Persona' Service". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 November 2012.