Microsoft and IBM, normally adversaries, have found grounds for cooperation in the creation of Extensible Markup Language (XML) standards. Both companies have indicated that they will collaborate on Web standards so their Web-based software may succeed. One analyst has compared the alliance to that between the U.S. and China during the Cold War. If that analogy is accurate, it would cast Sun in the role of the USSR, as Sun and IBM have bickered of late over the direction of Java. IBM once touted Java as the common language of the Web but now hints that XML may serve that function.
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