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Microsoft Forms Interoperability Alliance With Other Tech Vendors

Microsoft has formed an interoperability alliance with software and hardware vendors five months after launching an effort with customers to identify integration problems with other products.

The Interoperability Vendor Alliance was unveiled Tuesday at Microsoft's TechEd IT Forum in Barcelona, Spain. The purpose of the group is to work with Microsoft in making their products work better together, based on input by customers.

Members included well-known tech companies such as Advanced Micro Devices, BEA Systems, Business Objects, CA, NEC, Novell, Siemens Enterprise Communications, Software AG, and Sun Microsystems.

Microsoft for years was a rabid protector of its own technology, preferring not to spend a lot of time on integration. That, however, changed as the software maker drove deep into the IT infrastructure of large corporations and found complex heterogeneous environments of multiple operating systems, such as Unix, Linux, and mainframes.

Also driving Microsoft toward interoperability were complaints by its own customers, which found the Windows platform too difficulty to tie to business applications running on other operating environments. In February 2005, Bill Gates, chairman, co-founder, and chief software architect of Microsoft, introduced the concept of "interoperable by design" as its initiative to make its products play nice with others' through the use of XML technology.

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