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MS walks out of W3C standards meeting

Subject: [bytesforall_readers] (fwd) MS walks out of W3C standards meeting
22 Mar 2003


20 Mar 2003
Microsoft Corp has, in a shock move, withdrawn two last-minute
representatives from an industry backed group working attempting to
set standards on interaction between web services.

In a move described as confrontational by certain sources, Microsoft
on Monday morning informed the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) it has
withdrawn its representatives from the recently created
WS-Choreography working group.

The members, Allen Brown and Greg Meredith, joined the group at the
eleventh hour last Thursday morning, as W3C members prepared to meet
for the very first time. Microsoft was a member of the WS-Choreography
working group for just two days.

The company appears to have used its presence at the inaugural working
group meeting to simply warn off W3C members from overlapping their
work with its own, Business Process Execution Language for Web
Services (BPEL4WS).

Sources close to the W3C told ComputerWire Microsoft's representatives
"made it clear their purpose was to work up to a certain point and
after that they were wildly opposed to it [WS-Choreograph]."
WS-Choreography and BPEL4WS are intended to describe how to use a web
service and interactivity between different parties.

At time of going to press, Microsoft did not respond in detail to the
allegations but said in a statement its employees attended the meeting
to "better understand its scope." Under W3C rules, it is believed a
company must become a full member of a working group to attend a

The withdrawal is a disappointment to WS-Choreography backers, who
worry web services will fragment with the failure of the industry to
unite around a single choreography standard in the way it has united
around Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) and Web Services
Description Language (WSDL) for example.

BPEL4WS was co-authored by Microsoft, IBM and BEA Systems Inc, while
WS-Choreography is proceeding on work from Sun Microsystems Inc, SAP
AG and others. BEA is also a member of the WS-Choreography working
Don Deutsch, vice president of standards strategy and architecture for
WS-Choreography chair Oracle, told ComputerWire he remains
"optimistic" Microsoft and IBM would join, but his optimism is
probably misplaced. IBM has not joined the WS-Choreography working

He criticized the aloofness of Microsoft and IBM. "They are content to
drape themselves in the mantle of openness while controlling the
standard," he said.

Microsoft said it would work on choreography through "other" industry
groups. "While Microsoft has decided not to formally participate in
the choreography group at this time, it is not the only vehicle in
which to impact and evaluate a set of technologies," the company's
statement said.

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