by admin on June 21, 2006 01:02pm

Last week we announced the formation of an Interoperability Customer Executive Council.  This is something many folks here at Microsoft have been working on and thanks go to a wide variety of people.  I was involved from an OSS perspective and will continue to be active with both our internal groups and this customer council to help this mission succeed.  As you can imagine, interoperability is a very wide and loosely defined word – it can mean many things to many people.  Particularly when you produce a lot of software!  Rather than try to ‘pick’ certain areas to focus on (believe it or not, Microsoft is constrained by time and money like all other businesses) we decided the most effective and beneficial path would be to have our customers drive this conversation. Thus was born this council, formed by customers of different sizes, business types, and geographic location, in order to provide guidance on interoperability issues that are most important to customers, including connectivity, application integration and data exchange.

Interoperability in a heterogeneous environment doesn’t happen accidentally, nor does having your code open make everything ‘just work’ together.  It takes thoughtful design and architecture; it takes time, effort and engineering discipline.  It requires working closely with partners, competitors and customers.  It also requires mature understanding that all things don’t necessarily require interoperability, and frequently those things that do, sometimes require different types of interoperability.  Point being: it takes focus, energy and commitment.  This council is a great step and example of this commitment from Microsoft.

I’m very excited by this step forward, below are some further news stories about this:

CNET News.com

Clients to advise Microsoft on software linking

http://news.com.com/Customers+to+advise+Microsoft+on+software+linking/2100-1001_3-6083664.html

eWeek

Microsoft Customer Council to Focus on Interoperability

http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,1976394,00.asp

-Bill