Happy New Year to those of you who regularly read this blog. I have been on vacation and promised myself that I would stay away from my blog and other work. But, back to things.

I have a grab-bag of items that may be of interest to some of you.

www.microsoft.com/standards

The first is something that we should have done quite some time ago. We recently posted the first version of a web site dedicated to our work in standards bodies. For the past two years we have had a reasonably broad range of standards articles posted on the interop site, but that was not good enough. Full credit here to Michael Goulde of Forrester. (Good guy...very smart. It would be easier for me if analysts were not as bright as he is.) He and I had a conversation late last fall and he chided me for the fact that we didn't have our act together on this. He wants more than is there - but it is a start. If you have suggestions, please let me know.

Microsoft & Novell win 2007 Frost & Sullivan Industry Innovation and Advancement Award for System Interoperability

Fox BusinessWire carried a release highlighting that Frost & Sullivan – a growth consulting company – awarded Microsoft and Novell the Industry Innovation and Advancement Award for System Interoperability at its recently held ‘2007 India ICT Awards’. The award for Industry Innovation is presented each year to companies for broader, more comprehensive participation in the industry and contributions to the advancement of the market. This is the first time the award has been presented for interoperability.

Imagine Cup Interoperability Challenge, new for 2008

The Imagine Cup (http://imaginecup.com/) is one way MS is encouraging students to apply their imagination, passion and creativity to technology innovations.

To increase student awareness of the importance of interoperability in software design, the Interoperability team at Microsoft is sponsoring a new award for the Software Design Invitational. The Interoperability Challenge will be one of only 3 such achievement rewards this year. To be eligible teams must create solutions that leverage out-of-the-box interoperability technologies from Microsoft in a 50/50 blend with other technologies in at least 3 of the following areas: Data Exchange, Messaging, Protocols, UI design, Identity, File formats, XML Web Services or Compliance with open standards.

We'll post summaries of all interop entries on the http://www.microsoft.com/interop/ site.