Bob Muglia is one of those execs inside Microsoft who really gets it. He is fundamental to making the Microsoft Server & Tools organization hum. That's why I am so pleased to see that at Tech Ed 2006 this week he announced the formation of a Customer Executive council, sponsored by Microsoft, focused on Interoperability. The goal is to allow key customers to steer product requirements, across all of Microsoft, on interop capabilities.
This is another firm committment by Microsoft to making interop real, and it's great to see. We want to make interop "built in", rather than something people have to labor at, building lots of custom code, and so forth. Supporting protocol standards (like WS-*, RSS, x.509, etc.) in our products is a necessary but not sufficient part of this interop committment. It also takes bridging technology, like what we include in our BizTalk Adapters and in Host Integration Server, and more fundamentally, delivering what customers need. An example of the latter is supporting Linux on Virtual Server 2005 R2 - that's not a standards thang, that's just responding to customer requirements.