Microsoft launches interoperability group

Restating its intention to play better with others, Microsoft today said it has started a group promoting software interoperability.

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Restating its intention to play better with others, Microsoft today said it has started a group promoting software interoperability.

Twenty-five companies, including Sun Microsystems, BEA, XenSource, and Novell, have agreed to join the Interop Vendor Alliance (www.interopvendoralliance.org), which was announced officially at Microsoft's IT Forum in Barcelona, Spain.

The Alliance will focus on promoting interoperability with Microsoft software in areas such as systems management, virtualisation, identity management, data access, connecting multiple portals through web services-based single sign-ons (SSOs) and developer tools, according to Jason Matusow, Microsoft senior director for interoperability.

"We want to create a forum that creates an environment for getting things done," Matusow said. But he added vendors that join the group can still decline to make their products work with another member's if they believe it is in their business interest." Just because one member holds out his hand to shake doesn't mean the other one has to take it," he said.

Scott Williamson, a strategic alliance manager for CA , which is a founding member, says it is often "tricky" to set up technical alliances with companies, especially ones with large product lines that compete with CA in other areas. He sees hopes for the Alliance to ease and speed up the process of setting up politicallysensitive collaborations.

Other founding Alliance members include AMD, Business Objects, Citrix, NEC, Network Appliance, Quest Software, and Software AG.

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