Following the July 31 announcement by the Service Modeling Language (SML) Working Group (see http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/dsi/serviceml.mspx for more information) there may be some interest to know more about Microsoft's contributions to the evolving SML specification.
 

In the past, Microsoft and a select set of Industry Partners announced an initiative to deliver management functionality in software products that would promote self-managing dynamic systems. This Dynamic Systems Initiative (see http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/dsi/default.mspx) would lead to the announcement and release of Microsoft's System Definition Model (SDM) platform and Software Developers Kit as a common means for vendors, architects, builders, and other role-owners in the IT world to create definitions of distributed systems, including hardware, applications, and services components of these systems.  Product development teams within Microsoft began to adopt the SDM schemas to define management models - you can find references to these products in the following places:
 

http://www.microsoft.com/mom/evaluation/beta/opsmgrfaq.mspx
"In Operations Manager 2007, we leverage the System Definition Model (SDM) to enable the monitoring of logical services or other entities besides the traditional server. This new management infrastructure enables Operations Manager to understand service and application structures, monitor service and application overall health in the form of a state machine, and then provide proscriptive knowledge and guidance around managing services and application state transitions."
 

http://www.directionsonmicrosoft.com/sample/DOMIS/update/2006/05may/0506smsr.htm
"SMS v4 ... will take [Desired Configuration Management] much further by employing System Definition Model (SDM) documents—standardized XML documents that provide the information needed to deploy, configure, and manage various components of a system..."
 

So you may ask: With the work-in-progress on SDM, why an announcement of an SML Specification?  The simple answer is: FEEDBACK that Microsoft received at SDM Design Preview Meetings. 
 

Feedback from hardware vendors / software developers / operations analysts / others strongly and positively influenced Microsoft's SDM development efforts. This feedback, urging Microsoft to "... make XML-based, Model-based Management more-open to the interests and contributions of IT industry members..." provided the catalyst for a core set of industry partners to form a Service Modeling Language Working Group, and to publish the draft SML Specification documents.