The Open Group says it has won unanimous approval from its 16-strong board to pursue its IT DialTone vision (CI No 2,157). The X/Open-Open Software Foundation combine will essentially mirror the industry at large by web- and net-enabling its technology specifications, software and standards, but it makes a big deal of including what it calls ‘heritage technologies’ (legacy, plus Distributed Computing Environment) in its scheme. With system and bandwidth costs falling, and maintenance going through the roof, TOG reckons CIOs are spending the vast majority of their budgets on getting new systems and software working with their existing (heritage) technologies. Middleware. Admitting it needs to re-focus its efforts TOG says middleware is what it is all about… somewhere we lost track. It thinks that unless it can bring its process to bear on the issue then the industry will end up with a slew of incompatible internet/intranet technologies just like it did with Unix. It claims it’s in deep discussions with W3C, OMG and other organisations about its plans. Exactly what TOG will do to pursue IT DialTone – and when it’ll do it – isn’t clear, however. It’s setting up task groups that will report back to the membership with recommendations in September. It’s cagey about its finance model, which it says is gradually changing, but wouldn’t say how, except that it’s likely to have go after the a bigger revenue stream from members perhaps by creating new classes of membership class. There’s no suggestion that board members are tired of shelling out $1m a year of course but it is also talking of axing some extraneous projects and programs. It’s still trying to bring retail, telco and other types of vendors onto the board.