Last week Bill Gates wrote an email about interop which is interesting because emails from Bill indicate a strong interest by Microsoft J) His interop premise was threefold:
1. The need for interop will never go away.
2. The only way interop had worked in the past has been through interfacing software and hard work; not any of the IT snake oils that have been touted.
3. The way we will get interop to work in the future is via interfacing standards (XML and WS-*).
I agree with all he says although I think it will be a long and hard road. I also think that architecture, abstraction and modelling will play a big part in making it happen but then I guess if you are Bill you can leave the details to peons like me J.