Microsoft's chairman Bill Gates and IBM's software chief Steve Mills cemented their companies' commitment to working together on accelerating the creation and adoption of web services standards and applications.
The executives said that accelerating web services standards and associated applications will give corporate users a compelling reason to increase their IT budgets. Web services could subsequently, help lift the IT industry out of the financial doldrums.
"What is really important here is that we can give buyers a reason to spend more on technology given the tough economy we are living in right now. We think whatever they spend on web services to do things like connect up supply chains offers them tremendous payback," said Mills.
"What we are trying to do [through the acceleration of web services standards] is lay the foundation [for turning around] all of that hype that didn't happen in the 1990s," Gates said.
Asked if the public display of support signalled a softening in the often hard-edged competition the two companies have engaged in the past several years, both downplayed the notion.
"There is always going to be a delta between industry standards we agree on and what companies [like IBM and Microsoft] do uniquely. The goal is to let our users carry out ambitious applications using standards. Think of .net as being our implementation of web services," Gates said.
The web services standards that each company will focus on includes WS-Security, Reliable Messaging, and WS-Transaction.
It is expected that these standards would get presented to organisations such as Oasis or W3C and become incorporated into their respective core tools and platforms, within the next six months to a year.
Ed Scannell writes for InfoWorld