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Council of Customers To Advise Microsoft on Interop

In yet another sign that Microsoft clearly understands its products still need to integrate better with others' -- even fierce competitors' -- applications, the company announced this week that it has formed a council on interoperability with members drawn from among its biggest customers.

Microsoft chartered the Interoperability Customer Executive Council to identify areas for interoperability improvements across its products and the overall software industry, according to a company statement.

"The Interoperability Customer Executive Council will help us prioritize areas where we can achieve greater interoperability through product design, collaboration agreements with other companies, standards, and effective licensing of our intellectual property," Bob Muglia, senior vice president of Microsoft's Server and Tools Business unit, said in the statement.

Muglia will host the twice-yearly meetings at Microsoft's Redmond campus, giving council members contact with both executives and product teams. Focus will be on customers' highest priority issues, including connectivity, application integration, and data exchange.

The council will include CIOs, CTOs, and architects from corporations and governments. Founding members include Societe Generale, LexisNexis, Kohl's Department Stores, Denmark's Ministry of Finance, Spain's Generalitat de Catalunya and Centro Nacional de Inteligencia (CNI), and the states of Wisconsin and Delaware, the statement said.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.