Microsoft resigns from W3C group

In a move that observers say could slow Web services momentum, Microsoft Corp. has resigned from the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) so-called Web services choreography working group.

Microsoft notified the W3C of its exit following a meeting in March to work on the standard, which aims to create a specification for using Web services to develop tools that let businesses share data and processes. Observers said that Microsoft officials decided after the meeting to withdraw due to a disagreement over the direction of the W3C debate.

In a prepared statement, Microsoft officials suggested that the firm would turn to alternative options for creating choreography standards. The statement contended that the W3C organization, the keeper of the World Wide Web, “is not the only vehicle in which to impact and evaluate a set of technologies.” At least one other consortium -- the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) -- can accept submissions on Web services choreography standards, observers noted.

The move may fragment the Web services choreography market much like competing Unix standards prevented efforts in the 1980s to create a single version of that OS for multiple processors and platforms. At this point, Microsoft continues to work with IBM, Tibco and BEA Systems to create its own set of Web services choreography specifications, WS-Coordination and WS-Transaction, based on BPEL4WS. Still another proposed specification, written jointly by Oracle, Sun Microsystems, Hitachi, Fujitsu, NEC and Sonic Software, has been submitted to the OASIS consortium.

See the related stories “Orchestration promise meets reality” and “A sampling of business process flow software vendors

About the Author

Richard Adhikari is a widely published high-tech writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached via e-mail at


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