November 14, 2006 12:30 AM PST

Microsoft starts a group for software harmony

Microsoft is creating a council with other technology vendors in an effort to sort out product interoperability problems.

Called the "Interop Vendor Alliance," the initiative is scheduled to be announced by senior company executive Bob Muglia at a Microsoft customer conference in Barcelona on Tuesday.

The goal of the committee, which will have about 25 members initially, is to make existing software work well together, Microsoft executives said.

"In conversations (about interoperability), one thing that has come through from customers has been the need to have a constructive conversation with vendors about interoperability," said Jason Matusow, Microsoft's senior director for interoperability.

The council is not meant to replace existing standards bodies. Rather, the goal is to identify interoperability problems and to generate recommendations on how to address them, said Sam Rosenbalm, a business development manager at Microsoft who helped organize the council.

"Customers are telling us that even with standards, when they get products in production, it doesn't always work well," he said.

The list of vendors participating in the initiative include Sun Microsystems, Novell and SugarCRM. Microsoft already has a formal partnership with these companies to ensure their respective products work well together.

Other members include open-source virtualization company XenSource, Xcalia, Software AG, Siemens, Citrix, BEA Systems, CA and Advanced Micro Devices.

Over the past two years, Microsoft has ratcheted up its commitment to having Windows-based software work well with products from other vendors, including open-source providers.

Microsoft will seek to include other large technology providers in the council, Rosenbalm said.

See more CNET content tagged:
council, interoperability, vendor, Microsoft Corp., open source

 

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