Microsoft, Sun to talk about cooperation

Microsoft and Sun Microsystems on December 1 will deliver a joint update on their collaborations pursuant to an April 2004 technology-sharing agreement to boost interoperability between the two vendors' products, according to a Microsoft representative on Wednesday.

While the discussion will not feature announcements of any critical milestones being reached, the two vendors want to talk about how the work is going, said the Microsoft representative, who did not want his name to be published.

"We're just going to talk about the work that's going on and how well it's going and some of the areas that have been touched upon, so you shouldn't expect anything big coming out of this [discussion]," the Microsoft representative said.

One area expected to be a topic of discussion is identity management, according to the spokesman. He would not provide any specific details of how the vendors are progressing in this area. The companies have been in different camps on identity management, with Microsoft promoting its .Net Passport initiative and Sun endorsing the Liberty Alliance.

As part of the April agreement, Sun and Microsoft agreed to bridge Microsoft's Active Directory software and Sun's Java System Identity Server and improve technical collaboration between Java and .Net platforms for Internet-based computing. The two companies also have participated in Web services technology development with Sun, for example, endorsing the Microsoft-developed WS-Eventing specification for subscribing to Web services-based events.

The agreement also settled outstanding antitrust and patent issues, with Microsoft paying Sun US$1.6. billion plus a $350 million royalty payment. Sun agreed to pay royalties for Microsoft technologies it uses.

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