Politics makes for strange bedfellows -- and the same appears to be the case in the tech industry. Last week, the CEOs of Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Sun Microsystems (NASDAQ:SUNW) talked about their efforts to collaborate. In fact, the CEOs appeared on CNBC (and oddly, there were mostly smiles and no insults).

Since Microsoft settled its antitrust suit with Sun last year, both companies have been in talks to focus on how to make each other's products more seamless (in techspeak, they call it interoperability).

The fact is: In the enterprise, companies usually have a hodgepodge of Sun and Microsoft products. Basically, these systems make up much of the operating system for the enterprise.

In the announcement this week, Microsoft and Sun will allow enterprises to have a single sign-on to a company's systems. This should make it easier for IT departments to manage their resources, as well as promote security. Moreover, the improved interoperability will make it easier for enterprises to develop applications for their networks.

There's another benefit: Companies need to implement stronger internal controls because of the requirements of Sarbanes-Oxley. With single sign-on, the process should be easier, since there is less chance for error and increased data transparency.

Of course, the intent is not entirely pure. After all, IBM (NYSE:IBM) is making inroads in the enterprise systems marketplace, and a Sun-Microsoft alliance can blunt that. If Sun-Microsoft solutions provide more benefits -- in terms of compliance, security and effectiveness -- it gives customers less incentive to select an alternative vendor.

But, unlike typical alliances, the Sun-Microsoft combination looks real. In fact, Sun recently purchased several companies -- such as Tarantella -- so as to promote more links with Windows systems. And, given that the alliance has a term of 10 years, we may see more happy interviews of the CEOs at Sun and Microsoft.

Fool contributor Tom Taulli does not own shares mentioned in this article.