Microsoft and Sun Microsystems on Wednesday provided a progress report on their interoperability efforts, touting ongoing cooperation on Web services standardization, deployment of Windows on Sun boxes, and other areas.
Representatives of the two companies participated in a conference call about actions taken related to a cooperation agreement forged between the two formerly bitter rivals in April.
“One thing for me that I have found really, really refreshing in this whole alliance [is] the fact that the companies actually end up being more similar than different in terms of IP [intellectual property] and how we approach R&D,” said Greg Papadopoulos, CTO at Sun.
“We really are working toward a world where both Sun and Microsoft products coexist,” Papadopoulos said. “We’re going to ensure unique levels of interoperability between them.”
“We’re actually quite pleased with the progress the companies have made so far in the early stages of this relationship,” added Hank Vigil, corporate vice president for consumer strategy and partnerships at Microsoft.
The two companies have had weekly meetings between relationship managers to check progress and resolve issues, according to the companies. Additionally, there have been 15 executive meetings and monthly meetings between engineers. Papadopoulos has met with Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has met with Sun Chairman, President, and CEO Scott McNealy.
In the Web services realm, the two vendors have co-authored four Web services specifications in the last six months. These include WS-Addressing, which was submitted to the W3C, as well as WS-Eventing, WS-MetadataExchange, and WS-Management.
Microsoft, meanwhile, is referring customers wanting Java on Windows to Sun’s JVM, since Microsoft’s JVM is not being upgraded. The two companies and partners are working to ensure Java products run well on Windows.
To improve customer experience, the companies have forged a more formalized business relationship, working to provide seamless resolution of technical issues between products. The companies also are working to establish a Competency Center in Redmond, Wash., to enable Sun to do in-depth testing of real-world applications.
The vendors also cited Sun’s achieving VeriTest certification for Sun Java System Directory Server Enterprise Edition, Sun Java System Access Manager, and Sun Java System Identity Manager running reliably on Windows Server. Sun also is set to complete a plan to validate Access Manager and Identity Manager functionality in identity management scenarios using Microsoft Active Directory as the directory for user credentials.
Identity is a key area in the arrangement. “We agree that browser authentication is an area where we could probably do some great work jointly,” although there is nothing to announce at the moment, said Andrew Layman, director of distributed systems interoperability at Microsoft. Announcements on interoperability between identity products are expected next year, according to Microsoft.
Additonally, the vendors cooperated on ensuring that Windows XP SP2 was interoperable with the Java Runtime Environment and StarOffice Productivity suite.