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Tech Heavyweights Form Grid-Computing Alliance

A group of high-tech heavyweights launched on Tuesday a consortium focused on building interoperability standards for grid computing, a goal that may not be achievable with its current membership.

The Enterprise Grid Alliance's founding members was nearly a who's who in the industry, with companies such as EMC, Fujitsu, Siemens Computers, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Oracle and Sun Microsystems. Among the missing, however, were Microsoft and IBM.

A major goal of the EGA, based in San Ramon, Calif., is to develop compliance tests to ensure that products incorporating the group's specifications are interoperable. This is important because grid computing requires several layers of technology, which means a variety of vendors' products would be deployed, ranging from operating systems and network management software to business applications and desktops.

The absence of Microsoft, which has a monopoly in desktop operating systems, and IBM, whose product line reaches into nearly every area of computing, means its unlikely the EGA could meet its interoperability goal with its current membership.

"If those two companies choose to go in some other direction, then it may be very difficult for the view that the grid alliance holds to come to predominate," Dan Kusnetzky, analyst for International Data Corp., said.

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