6 February 2002 Bitter rivals Microsoft and Sun Microsystems are believed to have formed the latest in a series of unlikely alliances driven by the so-called web services revolution.
Unconfirmed reports today suggest that the two companies are poised to announce a new industry consortium, to be called the Web Services Interoperability Organisation. Its other members are thought to include IBM, BEA Systems, Oracle and Intel.
It is thought the new group will have a dual role, promoting the concept of web services, while training businesses on how to build applications that interoperate with others on the Internet.
Many CIOs and IT managers are unsure about which vendor’s technology to use to build web services and the new consortium will seek to clear up this confusion, say industry sources. Moves to better integrate different systems has compelled fierce competitors to come together to work on new standards and solve incompatibility issues.
For example, Microsoft and Sun have unveiled entirely different approaches to building web services. SunONE, Sun’s web services architecture, is heavily based on its Java programming environment. Meanwhile, Microsoft has put together an architecture based around its various operating systems and servers, as well as a collection of new and adapted programming languages.
“All of these players that are typically not friendly with each other are working together,” John DiFucci, an analyst with CIBC World Markets, told Reuters. “They’ve all agreed on this … and that’s amazing,” he said.