So here's what Bob Muglia, Microsoft's senior vice president for the Server and Tools division, had to say:
After I picked myself off the floor, I asked myself, "Why would eWeek allow itself to be used like this?" Clearly, this was simply a marketing move, not a signal of genuine intention to work with IBM. If Microsoft really wanted to work with IBM on interoperability, would it launch this activity by telling eWeek that the goal was for Microsoft to help IBM with our implementation? And without a response from IBM? This is not a news story, it's an advertisement.
"[Our customer council] basically told me, pretty directly, that while Microsoft's implementation was in great shape, IBM's and others were not, and that Microsoft needed to do a better job helping them do a better implementation," Muglia said. "And I had to think about that, as it is one thing for us to work with customers around interoperability, but quite another to go out and help a competitor build a better product to enable interoperability."
But Microsoft has now decided to go and talk to IBM and BEA Systems and a few others to help improve and define their interoperability. "Ultimately these guys have to make their products good, but there is a lot we can do working with them to make their products interoperate better with us," Muglia said.
IBM could not be immediately reached for comment on Muglia's remarks or its thoughts about improving interoperability with Microsoft.