They may be at each others' throats in court, but Microsoft can still get together with IBM, Sun Microsystems and America Online where it counts the most - at the cash register. All agree that the more we spend online, the better it is for them.
Last week they came together on a new e-commerce standard that could make one-click checkout ubiquitous on the Web.
Compaq, Dell, Visa, American Express and MasterCard are also throwing their weight behind the plan, called the electronic-commerce modelling language. It sets rules for storing credit-card data in electronic wallets which are software programs working with browsers.
Microsoft will adopt the plan in its Passport electronic-payment product, and Sun will use it in its JavaWallet.
Watch for other developments aimed at making it easier to move through the online checkout counter, because vendors are learning they're beating customers away with their rigorous demands to fill out fields.