Hewlett Packard (HP) has expanded its existing partnership with Microsoft for providing web services infrastructure.
The two companies joined forces back in September when HP said it would invest $50m (£32m) in setting up a .Net unit within its services division, dedicated to designing, building and running enterprise infrastructure, combining HP's hardware with Microsoft's .Net platform.
At the time, HP said the unit could take up to two years to become fully operational and that training would slow its progress.
Although the unit is eventually to be run by 1,300 staff, the company currently has only 800 consultants with the accreditation to offer .Net services.
Now, however, HP has joined Microsoft's Visual Studio .Net Integration Program, which will involve the company building and integrating XML Web Services developer tools and components into application development environment Visual Studio .Net.
HP said this would save development time and enable developers to deliver enhanced XML web services applications on multiple platforms.
The company has also said that it is committed to developing tools and professional services that will bridge incompatible .Net and Java programming systems.
Mike Rank, general manager of HP's Developer Resources division, said: "We are pleased to expand our collaboration on web services and Microsoft .Net with an initiative that will enable business leaders to realise a greater and more rapid return on application development.
"Our tools will allow a wide variety of developers to design and develop manageability into applications and web services upfront, ultimately increasing the value of those software offerings."
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