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Microsoft, Google, Sun Get RAD

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Joint collaboration on a Reliable, Adaptive and Distributive Systems lab at UC-Berkeley has the three tech companies contributing $7.5 million toward the lab’s mission of creating freely-available web services.

Dark Lords pass the Sith legacy through the generations in an unusual and violent way. After years of working together, an apprentice will kill his master when he senses an opportunity to become the master himself.
-- Stuffo, The Sith Explained

The lightsabers have been sheathed as the occasionally adversarial companies band together to promote what could be an incubator for the idea that eventually challenges one of the three. A KOMO news report stated Google, Microsoft, and Sun Microsystems would take part in funding the RAD lab.

Six faculty and ten computer science graduates plan to be the initial staff at the lab. Their work will take them into the reemerging field of Software as a Service (SaaS). Web services have become popular, with an array of web applications of varying usefulness taking advantage of concepts like AJAX programming.

“It’s interesting to have Google as one of the founding investors because one of the big questions (the RAD lab is trying to address) is, ‘How do you get the next Google out there?”‘ Greg Papadopoulos, Sun’s chief technology officer, said in the report.

It’s also interesting to have this combination of companies involved as a group, albeit not in direct contact. Google CEO Eric Schmidt has faced off against Microsoft over the Kai-Fu Lee hiring, which has another day in court in January. During Schmidt’s time with Novell and a stint at Sun, Microsoft managed to get the better of each company.

Sun’s relationship with Microsoft might be best described as “litigant.” A long-standing lawsuit against Microsoft over a variety of patent and antitrust issues ended a year ago with Microsoft writing Sun a $1.6 billion check. Sun also sued Microsoft over the licensing of its Java technology in 1997.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

Microsoft, Google, Sun Get RAD
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