I've been writing about web service specifications for interoperability. Its probably a good idea to say something about the organization behind this, the WS-I. WS-I includes Microsoft and IBM, two long time proponents of web services standards. Like most such bodies, the issues are more about politics than anything else. A recent ZD Net article stated:
...the WS-I has been better known for various political squabbles than for technical leadership. A high-profile spat between Sun Microsystems and its founding members has generated most of the attention for the group. After initially being shut out by founding companies including IBM, Microsoft and BEA Systems, Sun subsequently joined the organization.
The WS-I is focusing on security at the moment and that will be the focus of their meeting in Salt Lake City in March. If I could figure out a way to get invited, I could blog it. :-)