17 May 2005 One year after publicly proclaiming an end to hostilities Sun Microsystems and Microsoft have released the details of the first fruits of their 10-year collaborative agreement.
The two IT giants have unveiled details of a single sign-on system that allows users to bridge the gap between Microsoft’s .Net platform and Sun’s Solaris and Java software. The technology will be built into future joint releases.
“In the first year, we’ve moved from the courtroom to the computer lab. Now we’re moving from the lab to the market,” said Microsoft chief executive officer Steve Ballmer.
After years of open hostility, the announcement is the first piece of evidence that the companies can collaborate.
“A year ago, the sceptics doubted that we could agree on the shape of the table, much less collaborate on solving some of the industry’s toughest problems,” said Sun’s chief executive officer Scott McNealy. “A single sign-on experience between the Solaris-based Operating System, Sun Java Enterprise System and Microsoft Windows Server has been customers’ top request,” he added.
The proposed specifications – the Single Sign-on Metadata Exchange Protocol and the Web Single Sign-on Interoperability Profile – will provide users with single sign-on capabilities through a web browser.
The first products to incorporate this technology will be released in 2006 at the earliest.