3Com and Microsoft will work together on products and technologies for networks that converge voice, data, and video.
The two companies announced the alliance last week in a joint statement stating that their efforts are intended to allow the use of converged networks on client and server computers, as well as on other devices used for business and by consumers.
The Microsoft Windows operating system will become more integrated with 3Com's product line as a result of the collaboration, the companies said.
Microsoft and 3Com individually plan to offer networking products for businesses ranging from small companies to enterprises and for consumers and network providers.
Key actions of the alliance include:
l 3Com will migrate its Total Control carrier-class architecture systems to the Microsoft Windows NT Embedded operating system. These and other products may also be migrated to Windows 2000 Server.
l Windows 2000 Server will be embedded in the 3Com CoreBuilder LAN switch. The switch will use the Transcend Policy Manager and Active Directory Service in Windows 2000 Server to enforce policies for configuration, quality of service, security, and monitoring.
l The two companies will collaborate on home LAN and broadband access solutions. 3Com also will package cable-ready Microsoft software titles with 3Com's cable and Digital Subscriber Line modems. Solutions will become available by June. The companies will also collaborate on Microsoft's Universal Plug and Play device driver initiative.
l A development centre will be opened near the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Washington, enabling the two companies to collaborate. Interoperability testing will occur at the development centre.