Microsoft and Sun Patch Things Up

    December 2, 2004
    Chris Crum

With a rocky past behind them, Microsoft and Sun seem to finally be getting along and getting down to business.

Sun CTO, Greg Papadopoulos, said: “As a relationship goes, this is a 180-degree U-turn.” “Nine months ago, we were slashing each others’ tires. Now we’re helping each other fix each other’s flats.”

According to, executives from Microsoft and Sun have been meeting with each other on a regular basis since April. They have also met with mutual customers to discuss which areas to focus on the most.

“First is that we are working on Web services specifications which will really help future products interoperate out of the box, and secondly, we are exploring the basic common sense approaches that let the existing products sets we both have work well together,” Papadopoulos said.

Microsoft and Sun claim that they will collaborate on making their network authentication systems work better together and work on allowing people to log on to Windows and Solaris at the same time. quotes Papadopoulos as saying, “Essentially, we want to ensure that our hardware platforms are supporting the major operating systems and platforms for both Solaris and Windows and that we have been certified by the Windows Hardware Quality Labs as ‘Designed for Windows,’ and our workstations get to take advantage of the enhanced virus protection in AMD’s Opteron under Windows XP Service Pack 2 [SP2]…This gives our customers options.”

“I wouldn’t be involved at this level and Gates wouldn’t be involved at this level if we thought these were just standards activities. There is real tangible stuff that our customers have told us to solve,” said Papadopoulos.

“The change at this point is that we’ve found it a lot easier to figure out what standards we should be working together on and designing in a way that works well for both of us,” said Microsoft director of distributed systems/interoperability, Andrew Layman.

“We’re being very cautious. When we do have something to announce, it’s going to be looked at with a lot of interest,” Layman said. “We want to make sure it lives up to expectations.”

Chris is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest ebusiness news.