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Sun, Microsoft Ready Single Sign-On

Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy said Wednesday that a lot of work has been going on in the background to prepare the first round of interoperability between Sun and Microsoft products, part of an agreement the companies reached in April, ending one of the technology industry's longest-running feuds.

Next month, the companies will provide single-sign-on capability for Microsoft's Active Directory and the Java Enterprise LDAP Directory. "Companies are dealing with compliance issues, password-management issues, directory-interoperability issues, and we're trying to address all of those," McNealy said in an interview with InformationWeek.

Sun's chief technology officer, Greg Papadopoulos, and Bill Gates, Microsoft's chairman and chief software architect, have been working closely over the past few months to develop a road map for making the Sun and Microsoft environments work together and to plan product development, McNealy said. The two executives recently met with a group of CIOs and service providers to discuss their interoperability priorities.

"I was joking with [Microsoft CEO Steve] Ballmer the other day that Gates and Papadopoulos are spending more time with each other than with us," McNealy said. "But that's a good thing." The companies' goal, he added, is to unveil integration products a few times a year over the next 10 years.