Microsoft Forms Interoperabilty Council

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2006-06-14 Print this article Print

Microsoft has formed a group that will work on improving the ability of the software giant's products to work together with third-party applications.

BOSTON—Hot on the heels of revelations that it is reaching out to the open-source community to find ways of interoperating with software licensed under the GPL, Microsoft announced on June 14 that it has formed an Interoperability Customer Executive Council.

The goal of the group is to identify areas for improved interoperability across not just Microsoft's products, but also the broader software industry.

Members will include CIOs and architects from both the corporate and government sectors, with Paris-based Société Générale, LexisNexis, Milwaukee-based Kohl's Illinois, the State of Delaware, Denmark's Ministry of Finance, and Spain's Generalitat de Catalunya and Centro Nacional de Inteligencia, in Madrid, already signing up as founding members.

Tom Robertson, Microsoft's general manager for interoperability and standards, told eWEEK that the goal is to recruit some 35 private and public sector members to the Council from across the world and many different sectors.

"The Council will focus on the common issues customers face in their heterogeneous environments, and then … look at the concrete steps we can take to resolve these," he said.

Robertson said Microsoft did not plan to invite any of its partners or competitors to join the council because its purpose is to identify specific shared customer issues and to develop a plan to resolve them. Once that was done, partners and competitors could be brought into the process, he said.

In an interview at the annual TechEd developer conference here on June 12, Bob Muglia, the senior vice president of Microsoft's server and tools business, told eWEEK that the Redmond, Wash., software company was "open to ways of working with the open-source community broadly, and even in the GPL space we are trying to find ways in which we can build bridges to GPL, but the bridge has to be carefully constructed."

Read the full story on eWEEK.com: Microsoft Forms Interoperabilty Council

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at www.eweek.com.


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