Microsoft Forms Interoperabilty Council

BOSTON—Hot on the heels of revelations that it is reaching out to the open-source community to find ways of interoperating with software licensed under th28571e GPL, Microsoft announced on June 14 that it has formed an Interoperability Customer Executive Council.

The goal of the group is to identify areas for improved interoperability across not just Microsoft’s products, but also the broader software industry.

Members will include CIOs and architects from both the corporate and government sectors, with Paris-based Société Générale, LexisNexis, Milwaukee-based Kohl’s Illinois, the State of Delaware, Denmark’s Ministry of Finance, and Spain’s Generalitat de Catalunya and Centro Nacional de Inteligencia, in Madrid, already signing up as founding members.

Tom Robertson, Microsoft’s general manager for interoperability and standards, told eWEEK that the goal is to recruit some 35 private and public sector members to the Council from across the world and many different sectors.

“The Council will focus on the common issues customers face in their heterogeneous environments, and then … look at the concrete steps we can take to resolve these,” he said.

Robertson said Microsoft did not plan to invite any of its partners or competitors to join the council because its purpose is to identify specific shared customer issues and to develop a plan to resolve them. Once that was done, partners and competitors could be brought into the process, he said.

In an interview at the annual TechEd developer conference here on June 12, Bob Muglia, the senior vice president of Microsoft’s server and tools business, told eWEEK that the Redmond, Wash., software company was “open to ways of working with the open-source community broadly, and even in the GPL space we are trying to find ways in which we can build bridges to GPL, but the bridge has to be carefully constructed.”

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