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JBoss and Microsoft Identify Mutual Customers, Interests

The JBoss-Microsoft Alliance Raises Pertinent Questions About Where the Two Companies are Headed.

JBoss and Microsoft announced on September 27, 2005 that the two companies would work together to enhance interoperability between JEMS and Microsoft Windows Server products. While the announcement was just one among the many corporate tie-up news stories that have hit us of late, the dynamics relating to this one seem more complicated.

Here’s the lowdown on the partnership. In order to address the needs of their joint customers, JBoss and Microsoft have identified four key technology areas that they can focus on over the coming twelve months. These areas include: Security Interoperability, Web Services Interoperability, Manageability of JEMS environments using Microsoft Operations Manager, Optimized use of SQL Server for users of Hibernate and EJB 3.0

First of all, does the announcement mean that JBoss is no longer trying to compete with Microsoft (in addition to its ongoing competition with IBM and BEA)? According to Shaun Connolly (pictured), Vice President of Product Management for JBoss Inc., Microsoft and JBoss share a large footprint of installed users who run JEMS on Microsoft Windows. The companies believe that the optimal environment for innovation is the coexistence of OSS and commercial software within the greater software ecosystem. This ecosystem has sustained innovation for decades through an ongoing cycle of interactions among organizations and individuals working with software. Both commercial software and OSS offer specific advantages, and several development models can and should coexist in healthy competition.

So doesn’t this look like Microsoft is leaning towards changing its stance on open source software? Strange though it may seem, the intent of this alliance is not an inlet for MS into the OSS arena. On the contrary, the companies believe that commercial software and OSS offer specific advantages, and both models can and should coexist in healthy competition.

Now this points to a conflict of interests between the 2 companies, but it isn’t. Microsoft remains 100% focused on .Net as its strategic development platform. Microsoft is not promoting Java as a platform of choice in this announcement.

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JDJ News Desk monitors the world of Java to present IT professionals with updates on technology advances, business trends, new products and standards in the Java and i-technology space.

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