The consortium of companies--which includes Sun Microsystems' rivals IBM and Microsoft--is working to make emerging Web services products compatible.
The move is a reversal of the
Cash in on Web services
Sun has agreed to join as a contributing member, a lower ranking position than board member, to be eligible for a position on the board, which the Web Services Interoperability Organization (WS-I) recently agreed to expand next year with two new seats.
The decision to expand is a response to Sun and other software companies that have been lobbying for positions on the board. IBM, pushing for Sun's participation in the consortium, proposed the expansion last Spring. Sun's Java software is a popular foundation for Web services.
"Sun has received requests from many parties to participate in WS-I, and the new board member positions allowed us to reconsider our original stance and join the organization," said Mark Herring, senior director for Java Web Services at Sun Microsystems, in a statement.
Sun's decision comes amid a power struggle among the three companies over control of the group and the overall direction of Web services. Nearly every software maker has touted Web services as the future of software, allowing companies to more easily build software that can interact via the Internet.
Aside from Sun, a dozen other companies have also expressed interest in joining the board. These companies include Ariba, Cisco Systems, Iona Technologies, KPMG International, Novell, Reed Business Information, Reuters, Tibco, VeriSign and WebMethods.
The WS-I is expected to elect the two new directors in March.