Microsoft, Sun, Oracle, IBM to merge under aegis of W3C
16:39, 1 Apr 2001 UTC | Simon St.Laurent

REDMOND, April 1 - Microsoft Corporation, Sun Microsystems, Oracle, and IBM have decided to 'rationalize' their business organizations under the leadership of the World Wide Web Consortium.

"We're tired of fighting among ourselves instead of taking on the real enemies - open source developers and customers," said Larry Ellison, chairman of Oracle.

In order to avoid antitrust concerns, the four companies would remain independent operating units, with separate stock, cash holdings, and low-level management.

The World Wide Web Consortium, the consortium which is "leading the Web to its full potential," would become the top level of management for the four companies. Current W3C members "can do it our way, or take a hike," said Ellison.

Analysts were divided over whether the move represents a merger, a takeover of the companies by the W3C, or a takeover of the W3C by the companies.

"This could be seen as business as usual," said J. Lawrence Gates of WebsWatch LLC. "To some extent, these companies have already been coordinating their efforts, at the W3C and elsewhere."

Others saw the move as defensive. "The W3C had to find some kind of counterweight to the close ties between OASIS and the United Nations," claimed Lawton Runner of EyeSky. "Microsoft, Sun, Oracle, and IBM give the W3C resources which make those of the UN seem pretty puny."

Tim Berners-Lee, Director of the W3C, noted that "this is the opportunity I've always wanted to make the Semantic Web come to life. With these four companies behind it, I know we can make this work seamlessly."

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Re: Microsoft, Sun, Oracle, IBM to merge under aegis of W3C (Paul Tchistopolskii - 18:50, 2 Apr 2001)
Congratulations with the Fools Day! (Sceptic - 18:39, 2 Apr 2001)
If nobody noticed, it was published on April 1st...
Merge under the WC? Flushed with success, I guess. :)
We have seen it all before 1988 it was called OSF (Open Software Foundation) and the joint efforts ...
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