Made true late yesterday and announced just this morning, Microsoft and Google have signed-up with the OpenAjax Alliance. Just over a year after formation this makes 73 different Alliance members now working to standardize how the world implements and leverages the technologies we all fondly call Ajax.Among the heavy-weights OpenAjax Alliance counts BEA, Dojo Foundation, Eclipse Foundation, Google, IBM, Laszlo Systems, Microsoft, Mozilla Corporation, Oracle, SAP, Sun Microsystems, and Zend. That's quite the crowd.The OpenAjax Alliance is an group of leading vendors, open source projects, and companies using Ajax that are dedicated to the successful adoption of open and interoperable Ajax-based Web technologies. Their prime objective is to ensure the broad success of Ajax by promoting the ability to mix and match solutions from various technology providers and by helping to drive the future of the Ajax ecosystem.In a recent blog post Bertrand Le Roy of Microsoft's ASP.NET AJAX team stated,"This is a way for us to ensure that our user community can combine the Microsoft AJAX Library and ASP.NET 2.0 AJAX Extensions with other frameworks, today and in the future."According to the OpenAjax website, a cornerstone of OpenAjax Alliance activities is the definition of OpenAjax Conformance. OpenAjax Conformance in other words implies a set of conformance requirements that the OpenAjax Alliance places on Ajax technologies, products and applications to promote interoperability and what they call "customer success"."After only 10 months this organization has achieved significant milestones in defining interoperability standards for the industry, the membership has grown from 13 to over 70 and the alliance has published multiple white papers on the background technology and business benefits of Ajax," said David Boloker, OpenAjax Steering Committee Chairman.By using Ajax products that support OpenAjax Conformance, the organization intends that IT managers and developers realize the following benefits:* Seemless integration of multiple Ajax products and technologies within the same Web application, particularly with applications that use mashup techniques* Greater certainty about product choices, where OpenAjax Conformance plays a similar role in the Ajax community as the Good Housekeeping Seal does with consumer products* Lower training costs, lower development costs, and faster delivery of Web 2.0 innovations due to industry adoption of common approaches that build from OpenAjax standards* Interchangeability of OpenAjax Conformant products, such that customers can choose among multiple vendorsThe Alliance today announced that the following members have all been awarded OpenAjax Interoperability certificates: Apache XAP, Dojo Foundation, ICEsoft, ILOG, Isomorphic, IT Mill, Lightstreamer, Open Link, Open Spot, Nexaweb, Software AG and TIBCO. The interoperability certificates represent progress by both OpenAjax Alliance and its members towards defining and achieving industry support for OpenAjax Conformance.With both Microsoft and Google on board, there is no question that the Alliance has reached its critical mass. This is good news for developers and -- as the groups puts its focus on the security of Ajax technologies -- this will as well be good for the IT managers who must concern themselves with the all those fancy XML packets crossing the corporate wires. We just hope Microsoft intends to be a good team player.