US technology giants Microsoft and Oracle have announced they will team up in their push into cloud computing. By using each other’s server and data centers, they seek to price out cheaper rivals in the cloud market.
The cooperation between Microsoft and Oracle would enable customers to run Oracle software on Microsoft’s Server Hyper-V and on Windows Azure platforms, the two technology firms announced in a release Monday.
In addition, Microsoft would offer Oracle’s Java, Database and WebLogic Server to Windows Azure customers, while Oracle would make Linux available to Windows Azure customers, the release said.
Underscoring that the two tech pioneers had long worked together out of the public eye, Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer said that behind-the-scenes collaboration wasn’t enough in the world of cloud computing.
From competitors to friends
The pact effectively means that Microsoft will be promoting Linux and Java-based software, which have been longtime rivals to its own Windows platform. However, the two software makers stand to profit from widening their customers’ base by granting access to datacenter services regardless of the underlying software being used.
Analysts see the alliance as an important first step for the two companies to resolve competitive challenges in their cloud efforts.
“The fact that historical competitors are now friends, speaks to how big the cloud opportunity is. And it opens up potential avenues of growth down the road,” Daniel Ives, analyst with investment bank FBR, told Reuters news agency.
Microsoft’s cloud computing initiative, called Azure, has failed to catch up with market leader Amazon’s AWS offering, as well as with younger Web-based platforms Salesforce.com and Workday.