So we now have interopalliance.org:
Making Technologies Work Better Together for Customers
The Interop Vendor Alliance is a community of software and hardware vendors working together to enhance interoperability with Microsoft systems.
Which is nice because who better knows what customers want better than vendor-pies and silicon shifters? At first glance this looks like a marketing operation designed to sell customers the illusion of Web services interoperability except they explicitly don't want customers involved, not even to bash on a plastic steering wheel whilst the drive train is connected to a smoke filled board room next door.
So what's not to like? Surely like motherhood and apple pie, any effort to increase Interop surely has to be a good thing? Firstly getting everybody to interop with Microsoft is simply one to many, when interop is all about are many to many. What happens when there is an issue? Will we ever get to find out - I somehow doubt it! And who is going to fix their stuff, the "one" or the "many".
I'm quite despondent we have yet another organisation to position and track, but at least I'm unlikely to be able to attend this country club. What we need now is an organisation to manage the interoperability between the interoperability organisations.
Then there are the vendors listed as "founding members". I used to think there was only one standardisation initiative IBM had spurned, I suddenly feel a lot less special ;-)
But most of all I'm baffled why Microsoft are leading this given they already have the workshop process for Web services and that's a game they can stop any time they want their ball back. Maybe this results from a little arm twisting?