October 18, 2004 3:57 PM PDT

McNealy: Microsoft integration work slow going

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ORLANDO, Fla.--The integration of Microsoft and Sun Microsystems technology is progressing, but it is more complex than envisioned, according to Scott McNealy, Sun's chief executive.

The companies' integration project, headed by Microsoft's Bill Gates and Sun's Greg Papadopoulos, is "way more complicated and detailed and extensive than I thought they were going to do," McNealy said.

McNealy made his comments during a press gathering held Monday at an industry conference sponsored by market research firm Gartner.

The integration work is an outgrowth of a landmark $2 billion legal settlement and technology agreement announced earlier this year by the two companies.

The work "is going well, but Bill and Greg are kind of stalling, not in a negative sense, but in the sense that they want to make sure they got it all right," McNealy said. "And they understand this is going to be one of the most scrutinized explanations of a roadmap and integration effort."

The companies were expected to offer a progress report this month, McNealy said. "I think they weren't quite ready to go show off their handiwork yet, so I hope (for one before the end of the year)," he said, adding that he and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer "are all over them" to deliver.

McNealy confirmed that the companies are focusing on linking their respective directory servers, Microsoft's Active Directory and Sun's Java Enterprise LDAP Directory, to provide single sign-on capabilities for companies using both servers. "It is one of many projects, but it's probably the earliest to bear fruit. I think they are going to put me and Steve on stage for (an announcement) sometime after the new year," he said.

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