Microsoft is criticizing the drafting of what it has characterized as a secret "Cloud Manifesto" that sets guidelines for interoperability among cloud-computing networks.
In a blog posting attributed to Steven Martin, Microsoft spilled the beans on a document it said has been drafted privately and that it was asked to sign without revisions.
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"Very recently we were privately shown a copy of the document, warned that it was a secret, and told that it must be signed 'as is,' without modifications or additional input," according to the post.
While the company fully supports the concept of drafting guidelines for interoperability in cloud computing, Microsoft said it was "admittedly disappointed by the lack of openness in the development" of the document.
"To ensure that the work on such a project is open, transparent and complete, we feel strongly that any 'manifesto' should be created, from its inception, through an open mechanism like a Wiki, for public debate and comment, all available through a Creative Commons license," Martin wrote in the post. "After all, what we are really seeking are ideas that have been broadly developed, meet a test of open, logical review and reflect principles on which the broad community agrees. This would help avoid biases toward one technology over another, and expand the opportunities for innovation."
Historically when there are emerging industrywide trends in computing, companies building the technology to support them will get together and try to decide on certain agreed-upon technology and/or business-process standards to make things work smoothly.
These processes inevitably leave some people out of the early development process, said Steven O'Grady, an analyst with RedMonk.
"This is historically how standards evolve, how technical movements develop," he said. "It's generally a coalition of certain parties that have mutual interests. Unfortunately, they tend to be exclusionary."
Microsoft itself has been a part of one of these very public coalitions. The development of a set of technology specifications for interoperability of certain business processes under the umbrella Web Services, shortened to "WS," was largely overseen and driven by Microsoft and IBM, with other vendors feeling left out of that process.