Microsoft corp. and integrion Financial Network jointly develop an interoperability standard? At the American Banker's Banking and Financial Services in Cyberspace conference, held in October in Phoenix, some of the discussion centered on the what-ifs of an agreement allowing the competing financial messaging formats, Microsoft's OFX and Integrion's Gold, to be interoperable.

The parties may be closer to an interoperability deal than one might think. Work on a mutual interoperability standard has been ongoing for some time, according to an Integrion spokesperson. "Phoenix was just another meeting," confirms Microsoft's Matt Cone, business development manager for Microsoft's desktop finance division. "We've been working together for nine months." In fact, he says, "We've been meeting every two weeks, and there have been technical meetings since June." Cone didn't speculate on when final specifications allowing full interoperability will be finalized.

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