Sun and Microsoft: So far, so good

Taking an intentionally cautious tone, Microsoft and Sun Microsystems executives said Wednesday that the first eight months of their 10-year partnership have yielded small, but significant progress.

The two companies held a press briefing to detail the areas of technical collaboration called for in a far-reaching and closely watched agreement. They indicated that the two industry heavyweights--once vocal critics of each other--have established a constructive working relationship. "As a relationship goes, this is a 180-degree U-turn," said Greg Papadopoulos, Sun's chief technology officer, who has met a number of times with Microsoft Chief Software Architect Bill Gates. "Nine months ago, we were slashing each others' tires. Now we're helping each other fix each other's flats."

In April of this year, Microsoft and Sun announced a surprise agreement that called for a settlement of ongoing litigation; a commitment to refrain from suing each other on the basis of patents; and a technical collaboration to make their products interoperate. The deal resulted in payment of $1.95 billion to Sun. Since then, there have been 15 meetings between top executives at both companies, and engineers meet on a monthly basis. Gates and Papadopoulos have also held meetings with common customers in order to guide their priorities.

News source: C|Net News.com

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