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Microsoft Corp. is joining a group led by cloud-computing rival Google Inc. to collaborate on standards for software that can run on multiple computers and networks.
The group is seeking to standardize the management tools -- called Kubernetes -- that let applications run on the Internet, such as Google's Gmail and search engine.
Google, which has built software to work on the Internet since its inception, is encouraging other businesses to run software via the Web. While Microsoft and Google both sell cloud-computing services, both will benefit from having partners, since the community's goal is to make it easier for developers to handle large amounts of data, work with various systems and move cloud-based software between different providers.
"We've seen a lot of really rapid interest and adoption," said Miles Ward, global head of solutions for Google's cloud platform. "It's a pretty significant shift forward in the ecosystem."
IBM and Red Hat Inc. are also among the companies joining the Kubernetes group, Google said in a blog post today. The technology, called Docker containers, is an increasingly popular platform for building, shipping and running software applications.
"I think Google has been looked at as a place that's an example worldwide of developer productivity," Mr. Ward said. "What this group -- this consortium -- is trying to do is expose that technology pattern to everybody."