IBM is not going to choose between Sun and Microsoft's authentication technologies, says the company's e-business director. While the two companies wrangle, Big Blue's increasing alliances with Microsoft in the area of Web services are not a final decision, according to Bob Sutor, IBM's e-business director. "We're still neutral re: Passport and Liberty," Sutor told ZDNet UK. The Liberty Alliance is a group initially set up by Sun to encourage a standard method for computer users to identify themselves on the Internet, through passwords or authentication technology. Liberty, which has not yet chosen a specific technology, is a response to Microsoft's Passport, included with Windows XP. IBM supports Passport, but is currently not a member of Liberty. IBM and Microsoft are also members of the WS-I (Web Services Interoperability Organisation) formed in early February. This is not a standards organisation but a group that aims to "promote Web services interoperability across platforms, operating systems, and programming languages." Sun is not a member of this group as yet. Extolling the virtues of Web services, IBM's Sutor said, "We have to work with Microsoft, Oracle, Sun, etc. Web services are simply a good idea, but it is a lofty goal." The plan for the complete vision should be in place by the end of the year.