TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Microsoft, Sun, Pursue Gap-Bridging Product Plans

Microsoft, Sun, Pursue Gap-Bridging Product Plans

Lisa Minter (
Sun, 15 May 2005 14:14:04 -0500

PALO ALTO (Reuters) - Former bitter rivals Microsoft Corp. and Sun
Microsystems Inc. on Friday said they were nearly ready to release
products that help bridge the gap between their operating systems, a
result of their legal settlement more than a year ago.

Microsoft, the world's largest software company and Sun, a maker of
network computers, servers and software, in April 2004 agreed to
settle a years-long battle, with Microsoft paying $2 billion to Sun to
resolve the dispute in a 10-year technical collaboration
agreement. Sun had charged Microsoft with anti-competitive behavior.

The two companies announced new plans that would allow a Web-based
single sign-on between systems that use both Microsoft and Sun
software, potentially eliminating the need for multiple user names and
passwords for different computer systems and software programs.

"These are huge messages to our employees and to our customers that
we're working together," Sun Chief Executive Officer Scott McNealy
said in a joint news conference with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in
Palo Alto, California.

Microsoft and Sun will ultimately submit the new specifications to a
standards organization for finalization and for ratification as
industry standards.

Ballmer and McNealy also said the two are working together on systems
management software that will allow interoperability between their
operating systems and management software.

As part of that effort, the firms are collaborating on the development
of WS-Management, a Web services specification co-authored by
Microsoft, Intel Corp. and other companies that defines a single
protocol to meet systems management requirements spanning different
types of hardware, operating systems and applications.

"We've been hard at work, the two companies, for a year," said
Ballmer. "We're poised to leave the computer lab now and enter the

Copyright 2005 Reuters Limited.

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