Microsoft has re-engaged with others in the computing industry in the area of Web standards--but its return is not without friction.

A number of allies--notably Mozilla, Opera, Apple, and Google--have been working for years to refashion Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) and a host of associated technologies to make the Web a more powerful foundation for applications and more sophisticated sites. Microsoft now has joined in the effort, but it doesn't always see eye to eye when hashing out details of the upcoming HTML5 with Mozilla and a central individual in the standards process.

One point of debate is the fact that two organizations are involved: the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group. Another is the process by which new Web technologies move from concept to standardization and support in browsers.