When Sun Microsystems and Microsoft announced a partnership back in April it took everybody by surprise. Even one of Sun's executives who quit in disgust from the deal. So what have the two companies accomplished during the past 4 months? Not a lot according to Sun's chief operating officer and President Jonathan Schwartz.
Schwartz believes no real progress can be made between the two companies till Microsoft "embraces open standards and interoperability." This is referring to the Liberty Alliance, which is composed of Sun Microsystems, Novell Inc., Hewlett-Packard, and Oracle. The goal of the Liberty Alliance is to developing an open, federated identity standard. A standard that will allow everyone (businesses, governments, employees, and consumers) a secure and convenient way to store personal identity information. Microsoft has yet to announce any plans to develop a royalty-free standard though the Liberty Alliance, something that Sun is hoping will change real soon.
I think it's possible that Microsoft might develop a royalty-free standard implementation through the Liberty Alliance. Only if in the end Microsoft can make a profit off of it. Would it be that hard for Microsoft this time around to have a helping hand in a royalty-free project? If this project proves to be as successful as I think it will be, Microsoft will be regretting its decision not to help.
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