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No timetable yet for Sun-Microsoft interoperability

Sun Microsystems will be "uniquely advantaged" by its interoperability agreement with Microsoft, said Sun CEO Scott McNealy. But when any advantages will become available to users is not yet clear.

The two companies earlier this month settled their legal disputes, with Microsoft agreeing to pay Sun about $2bn. The settlement included a 10-year, bilateral agreement to promote product interoperability. 

Scott Zahl, vice president of marketing and vendor relations at GE Access, a value-added distributor for about 800 Sun resellers, said he believed the changes will be evident in product upgrades, such as Solaris 10, which is due by the end of the year. 

McNealy acknowledged that there was no guarantee the deal will work out, but he said it was off to a promising start and that he was in talks with Microsoft. A key objective is making StarOffice, Sun's office productivity suite, "even more interoperable" with Microsoft Office. 

Other important goals include improving interoperability between the Java Desktop System and Windows, improving interoperability between Solaris and Windows servers, and bringing the company's respective web services architectures, .net and Java Web Services, into closer alignment, said McNealy.

Patrick Thibodeau writes for Computerworld


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