Perhaps in observance of the seven birthday of XML, Microsoft on Thursday unvieled a site dedicated to interoperability.
Included at the site are links to Interoperability Month and Webcast series, as well as information on various Microsoft initiatives and products.
In a letter posted at the site (and emailed separately to IT executives), Microsoft chairman Bill Gates outlines Microsoft's commitment to interoperability between disparate (non-Microsoft) applications.
Microsoft acknowledges there are a lot of legacy systems out there that aren't going anywhere soon -- in fact, their lives may be prolonged indefinitely by Web services and SOA. "...we continue to support customers needs for software that works well with what they have today. ...we are working with the industry to define a new generation of software and Web services based on eXtensible Markup Language (XML), which enables software to efficiently share information and opens the door to a greater degree of 'interoperability by design' across many different kinds of software."
Gates also uses the occassion to take a swipe at open source. "Interoperability is also confused with open source software. ...the open source development approach encourages the creation of many permutations of the same type of software application, which could add implementation and testing overhead to interoperability efforts."