Internet applications maker Mozilla is today announcing the ‘beta 2′ version of Persona, its Web-based authentication alternative to OpenID and other distributed login systems.

New features include ‘Identity Bridging’, which essentially means that users can now log into Persona-supporting websites with their existing Web and email accounts. Mozilla hopes this will make it far more attractive for application developers, service providers and online publishers to implement Persona as (part of) their authentication flow – they need this to have even a small chance of broad uptake.

Mozilla is starting with Yahoo.com – check out their sample site here. The technical details behind Identity Bridging are detailed on the Mozilla Hacks blog.

It’s worth noting that any domain holder can now become a Persona Identity Provider so users can reuse their existing accounts on any site that uses Persona. You can find a bunch of early adopters in Mozilla’s blog post.

Mozilla has also added support for Firefox OS, which makes sense since the first smartphones with the all-new mobile operating system are expected to hit the market this summer.

Finally, Mozilla says Persona has become ‘twice as fast’ as before, with quicker pop-up windows and other performance improvements.

Mozilla says its goal with Persona is simple: to eliminate passwords on the Web with a free, open alternative login system that allows users with existing Web accounts to log into services without the need to create a new account or password.

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