WSJ.com - Sun, Microsoft Cite Headway In Their Joint Technical Effort: "One of the first big tests of the alliance, executives said, will be making it possible for a user to enter one password and log on to corporate applications based on either Sun or Microsoft technology. Mr. Papadopoulos said engineering teams were grappling with how to solve that thorny problem, but weren't ready to pronounce a solution yet.
The collaboration highlights the growing need for the companies to cooperate more to counter the threat from International Business Machines Corp. IBM is now one of the largest providers of computers running the Linux operating system, which has been eating away at Sun's share of the market for large server computers and poses one of the long-term threats to Microsoft's Windows. Linux is also a mainstay of Hewlett-Packard Co., another big Sun competitor.
IBM expects to get much of its future revenue from selling services to help customers combine hardware and software from different vendors. Sun and Microsoft, by contrast, believe they can gain an edge by developing software that can help connect products together with less manual labor.
The joint work is designed to create a connection between Sun and Microsoft products that would be 'very much an advantage against IBM and HP,' Mr. Papadopoulos said."