A Joint Advisory Committee

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2005-05-13 Print this article Print

The two companies have also established a joint advisory committee of 10 shared large customers, which have given them a list of their needs in an order of priority, and single sign-on was at the top of that list. Other items that made the list included thin client access, certifying storage environments and manageability, McNealy said.
Looking ahead, moving this Services Oriented Architecture will be the next challenge, he said, pointing out that operating systems are critical.
Solaris and Windows have clearly emerged as "the two survivor and leading operating systems, though Im not quite sure whos in third place long-term," he said, adding that the operating system is essential as it touches everything. "We are not limiting choice, we are creating substitutionabilty and interoperability between them, and growing them," he said. So as to provide an enterprise customer perspective, Fred Killeen, the director of Systems Development and chief technology officer for General Motors Information Systems & Services, took the stage. He welcomed the moves toward cross-domain Web single sign-on, saying that "we expect it to help reduce complexity and cost for us, and we are going to look at how to implement this going forward and take full advantage of it." GM has more than a million users across the world and a very large installed base, so it is critical to bring the two technology sides that Microsoft and Sun provides together. "We are developing a proof on concept and a Microsoft desktop that will authenticate to Active Directory but then allow single sign-on to our Sun portal world, he said. Then, in a demo of cross-domain single sign-on at work, which the presenters dubbed "the most boring security demo you may ever see," following Ballmers earlier lead, they showed how identity solutions can be used together to provide browser-based and cross sign-on authentication. Later this year Microsoft will also allow federation, which lets companies to protect their data across the Internet to its partners and customers without them having to provide a different user sign-on and password across different platforms. McNealy also took several swipes at competitor IBM, in particular its global services division and its legacy mainframe computers, implying it was devolving into an "us against them" scenario and quipping, "anything but IBM Global Services." Next Page: Support from partners.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at www.eweek.com.


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