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Microsoft Corp and Retix Inc business unit Vertel are working together to define interfaces between Windows NT and Vertel’s telecommunications network management software to create a Web- based management system. The two companies plan for DCOM Distributed Common Object Model-based links and specifications to hook NT Server and Vertel’s TMN Power Cat telecommunications management technology so that Power Cat applications can manage Windows NT-based Internet services offered by major telecommunications carriers. The eventual specifications, a complicated brew that delves into the five-layer International Telecommunications Union specifications for interaction between telecommunications equipment and computers, are outlined in a jointly authored paper which both companies have posted on their Web sites. Microsoft and Vertel are concentrating primarily on the top two layers of the Union’s scheme, which define service and business management. The interfaces will be open to third- party service providers, they said. Microsoft and Vertel also pledged that the final product will meet the emerging standards including the Web-Based Enterprise Management initiative, a program under the joint auspices of the Internet Engineering Task Force, IETF, and the Desktop Management Task Force

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