IBM has said it would like rival Sun Microsystems to join an exclusive club for the future roll-out of web services, admitting that Sun's absence from the group could harm the emerging technology.
In what amounts to a swift about-face, IBM has said it would like to see Sun join the Web Services Interoperability (WS-I) group, which the company helped found with Microsoft and other industry players in February this year to improve software interoperability.
Sun was offered "contributing member" status at the time but not a place on the influential board, an offer which the company found easy to refuse.
IBM, which voted against letting Sun join in a board vote only recently, now says that Sun's input is vital to bring an end to infighting which is harming the fledgling technology.
Big Blue is also a major vendor of Java-based web services, and needs Sun's Java knowledge on board.
IBM's program manager for web services standards and chair of WS-I, Tom Glover, said that he "wants to resolve the situation so WS-I can move forward."
He will probably need unanimous backing from the nine other board members including Hewlett-Packard, Oracle, Intel and BEA Systems, although Microsoft is likely to oppose.
Analysts said Sun's inclusion was vital for the future of web services.
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