My daughter wanted to sign up for an MSN instant messaging account (it's mixed with other Microsoft services, apparently), and so "Microsoft Online Services" sent me an e-mail with a link to either give or deny permission. So I looked around to see exactly what it was she was signing up for, and decided that as long as she keeps her security software updated, and keeps in mind our "rules of engagement" (my kids & I discuss online safety quite often), then okay, I'd give her permission. I clicked the link, and the site told me that in order to answer the permission request, I'd have to sign up for my own "Windows Live ID". Okay... I don't really want it, but fine. So I went through that process, made my ID & password, and finally got to the part about giving my daughter permission to use the services. BUT, in order to "prove" that I'm an adult (don't have to prove I'm her parent, apparently, just that I'm an adult), they wanted my credit card information.
Now, I'm comfortable enough with online shopping, and use my cards fairly often for that, and for online bill-paying, but as proof of age? I think not.
Needless to say, my daughter will be sticking to Yahoo & AIM, and can use either one under Trillian (which she could also have used MSN under, but won't be).
Now I've gotta go back & cancel my Live ID account, if it was actually created after all that, because I certainly don't want a bunch of Microsoft ads in my e-mail. I used one of my seldom-used e-mail accounts for the signup, but still. What a racket.