Last GUID used up - new ScottGuID unique ID to replace it

You might have heard in recent news that the last ever GUID was used up. The GUID {FFFFFFFF-FFFF-FFFF-FFFF-FFFFFFFFFFFF} was just consumed by a soon to be released project at Microsoft. Immediately after the GUID's creation the word spread around the Microsoft campuses around the globe. Microsoft's approximately 100,000 worldwide employees then started blogging, tweeting, and facebooking about the dubious "achievement." The following screenshot shows GUIDGEN (the Windows tool for creating GUIDs) with the last ever GUID.

clip_image002

All GUIDs created by projects at Microsoft must be registered in a central repository for record keeping. This allows quick-fix engineers, security engineers, anti-malware developers, and testers to do a quick look up of an unknown GUID and find out if it belongs to Microsoft. The following screenshot shows the Microsoft GUID Tracker internal application and the last few GUIDs being used up by various Microsoft projects.

clip_image004

What is perhaps more interesting than the news about the GUID is the project that used that last GUID. The recent announcements regarding the development experience for the Windows Phone 7 Series (WP7S) all involve free editions of Visual Studio 2010. One of the lesser known developer tools is based on a resurrected project that many of you are probably familiar with, but have never used. The tool is in fact Microsoft Bob 7 Series (MB7S). MB7S is an agent-based approach for mobile phone app development. The UI incorporates both natural language interfaces and motion gesture behaviors, similar to the Windows Phone 7 Series “Metro” interface. If it works, it will help to expand the breadth of mobile app developers.

msbob

After the GUID: The ScottGuID

It came as no big surprise that eventually the last GUID would be used up. Knowing this, a group of engineers at Microsoft has designed, implemented, and tested a replacement to the GUID: The ScottGuID. There are several core principles of the ScottGuID:

1. The concepts used in ScottGuIDs must be easily understood by a developer who is already familiar with GUIDs

2. There must exist a compatibility layer between ScottGuIDs and GUIDs

3. A ScottGuID must be usable in a practical manner in non-computing environments

4. There must exist ScottGuID APIs for all common platforms: Win32/Win64/WinCE, .NET (incl. Silverlight), Linux, FreeBSD, MacOS (incl. iPhone OS), Symbian, RIM BlackBerry, Google Android, etc.

5. ScottGuIDs must never run out

ScottGuID use cases

One of the more subtle principles of the ScottGuID is principle #3. While technically a GUID could be used in any environment, it was not practical to do so in terms of data entry and error detection. In order to have the ScottGuID be a true universal ID it must be usable in non-computing environments.

Prior to the announcement of the ScottGuID there have been a number of until-now confidential projects. One of the tools that will soon become public is ScottGuIDGen, which is in essence an updated version of GUIDGEN that can create ScottGuIDs. The following screenshot shows a sample ScottGuID.

clip_image007

To demonstrate the various applications of the ScottGuID there were test deployments around the globe. The following examples are a small showcase of the applications that have already been prototyped.

Log in to Hotmail:

hotmail

Pay for gas:

gas-station

Sign in to Twitter:

twitter

Dispense cat food:

icanhaz

Conclusion

I hope that this brief introduction to the ScottGuID shows how technology can continue to move forward, even when it appears there is a point that cannot be passed. With a small number of principles, a team of smart engineers, and a passion for "getting it right" the ScottGuID should last well past our lifetimes. In the coming months expect further announcements regarding additional developer tools, samples, whitepapers, podcasts, and videos.

Please leave a comment on this post if you have any questions about the ScottGuID or what you would like to see us do with it. With ScottGuID, the possibilities are nearly endless and we want to stretch their reach as far as possible.

Published Thursday, April 1, 2010 5:00 AM by Eilon
Filed under:

Comments

# re: Last GUID used up - new ScottGuID unique ID to replace it

Thursday, April 1, 2010 5:31 AM by outcoldman

Ha-ha. I got previous {FFFFFFFF-FFFF-FFFF-FFFF-FFFFFFFFFFFE}

# re: Last GUID used up - new ScottGuID unique ID to replace it

Thursday, April 1, 2010 5:33 AM by Martin Aatmaa

I won't believe this until I see an official ScottGu post about it.

# re: Last GUID used up - new ScottGuID unique ID to replace it

Thursday, April 1, 2010 6:30 AM by Galilyou

LOL .. Freaking Funny!

# re: Last GUID used up - new ScottGuID unique ID to replace it

Thursday, April 1, 2010 6:48 AM by surr

groups like "save the guids" warned us about over consuming our guids, and no one listened.  now there are no guids left for our children.

we need a webservice were we can trade-in old unused guids to make them available for applications that desperately need them.

# re: Last GUID used up - new ScottGuID unique ID to replace it

Thursday, April 1, 2010 6:51 AM by alhails

I gen'ned {230260F4-3B88-4b03-9E48-758A43EC7F18} the other day, but haven't used it yet.

I'll sell it to the highest bidder!

# re: Last GUID used up - new ScottGuID unique ID to replace it

Thursday, April 1, 2010 6:56 AM by Sanil

LOL! I want to become the first dev to use ScottGuid.

Damn, ScottGUID also ran out

# re: Last GUID used up - new ScottGuID unique ID to replace it

Thursday, April 1, 2010 8:05 AM by commenter

Why not just use lowercase letters?? That would instantly double the GUID address-space.

# re: Last GUID used up - new ScottGuID unique ID to replace it

Thursday, April 1, 2010 9:40 AM by Mark Heath

brilliant. I'm going to sell some of my spare GUIDs on ebay for people who can't migrate to ScottGuiIDs.

# re: Last GUID used up - new ScottGuID unique ID to replace it

Thursday, April 1, 2010 9:44 AM by Walter

Why not use the Scott Guid as a replacement for the soon to run out IPv4 addresses?  Then we can be consistent across the board - none of this IPv6 nonsense!

# re: Last GUID used up - new ScottGuID unique ID to replace it

Thursday, April 1, 2010 10:35 AM by Axel

I knew it was coming!! I *also* got {FFFFFFFF-FFFF-FFFF-FFFF-FFFFFFFFFFFE} in a project I'm working on! It was inevitable...

# re: Last GUID used up - new ScottGuID unique ID to replace it

Thursday, April 1, 2010 11:02 AM by Felipe Lima

Nice april's fool :)

# re: Last GUID used up - new ScottGuID unique ID to replace it

Thursday, April 1, 2010 11:14 AM by Bryce

Hey, I just generated another GUID and got 00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000! Obviously this article is totally bogus, since GUIDs now roll over!

# re: Last GUID used up - new ScottGuID unique ID to replace it

Thursday, April 1, 2010 11:18 AM by Kevin Ortman

Can I haz r3d shirtz?

# re: Last GUID used up - new ScottGuID unique ID to replace it

Thursday, April 1, 2010 4:16 PM by InfinitiesLoop

http://twitter.com/lastguid

# re: Last GUID used up - new ScottGuID unique ID to replace it

Thursday, April 1, 2010 5:38 PM by Peter Bromberg

I've been hoarding GUIDs for several years in anticipation of this shortage. I intend to dribble them into the market at exhorbitant prices and make... A Hundred Beelion Dollars!

MWAA HAA HAA HAA!

# re: Last GUID used up - new ScottGuID unique ID to replace it

Thursday, April 1, 2010 5:48 PM by Todd Bleeker

Wouldn't it be easier to just allow GUIDs to have "G"s. After all the word GUID begins with a "G".

<Todd />

# re: Last GUID used up - new ScottGuID unique ID to replace it

Thursday, April 1, 2010 6:07 PM by Caleb Jenkins

@Peter - ha ha! (hoarding GUIDS ftw)

@Scott - the Bob 7 Series shots are awesome... but kinda turned my stomach a bit.  :-)

# re: Last GUID used up - new ScottGuID unique ID to replace it

Thursday, April 1, 2010 6:23 PM by And

You had me until I got to the Bob part

# re: Last GUID used up - new ScottGuID unique ID to replace it

Thursday, April 1, 2010 9:34 PM by KB

April fools

anyone?

# re: Last GUID used up - new ScottGuID unique ID to replace it

Thursday, April 1, 2010 11:18 PM by Aneef

Hahaha awsum scottguid lolzz good one for the day, well drafted prank hahah

# re: Last GUID used up - new ScottGuID unique ID to replace it

Friday, April 2, 2010 2:24 AM by secrets

hahah nice Prank scott... ;)

# re: Last GUID used up - new ScottGuID unique ID to replace it

Friday, April 2, 2010 2:53 AM by Toni Pohl

I knew this would happen soon!!

But at least we now got a great workaround with ScottGuID - especially use case #3 seems to be a break thru in our daily lifes.

Awesome! ;-))

# re: Last GUID used up - new ScottGuID unique ID to replace it

Friday, April 2, 2010 7:36 AM by Dhananjay Goyani

I have also heard about ScottGuID LOGO program. The program is already aligned with OData, REST and SOAP. But as a novice computer user, if you wish to verify a ScottGuID, you just have to copy-paste it  in MS word. If that turned red, you are lucky. The entered text is valid ScottGuID.

Cheers!

Dhananjay

# re: Last GUID used up - new ScottGuID unique ID to replace it

Friday, April 2, 2010 12:26 PM by ViewState

The funnier part about all this is that some people actually believe in it.

# re: Last GUID used up - new ScottGuID unique ID to replace it

Friday, April 2, 2010 3:15 PM by Gullible

I don't think it was so funny.  A guy in our office started selling SteveGUID readers and I bought two.  One for the office and one for home.  Imagine my surprise when I got home and my mom recognized the thing as an old audio cassette player.  She didn't think it was funny either. >:|

By the way, two additional thoughts:

First, they can't add G's as there are no G's in the hexadecimal number system.

Second, lower case would not double the available guids. It would only give you an additional 37.5 percent.

# re: Last GUID used up - new ScottGuID unique ID to replace it

Tuesday, April 6, 2010 9:50 AM by cw

Including latitude and longitude for Redmond WA was a nice touch.  I was surprised no one else commented on that.

# re: Last GUID used up - new ScottGuID unique ID to replace it

Friday, May 28, 2010 1:42 AM by Parag

Microsoft Bob 7 - yeawck :( . Last thing we need before end of eternity :)

# re: Last GUID used up - new ScottGuID unique ID to replace it

Monday, November 1, 2010 4:40 AM by Runge

You'll still have to copy paste them, but I'm working on a WCF Service to deliver GUIDs to the world.

For promotional reasons this is still free. So hurry up and get yours while you can.

# re: Last GUID used up - new ScottGuID unique ID to replace it

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 3:57 PM by JT

@Gullible - if you want to get mathematical, allowing lowercase letters would provide an increase of 37.5% per character.  1.375 ^ 32 = 26649.33, for a 2,664,833% overall increase in possible GUIDS.