During a recent press conference the Microsoft Corporation said it would support Oracle software on its cloud-based platforms. This tie-up is aimed at improving the rivals’ chances against smaller Web-based rival companies chipping away at their traditional businesses.
The two industry leaders have been in competition for many years to sell their technologies to the world’s largest companies. But they both face growing pressure from these new rivals selling more and more cheaper services based in remote data centers and they are in a hurry to adapt their products accordingly. This tie-up however, does not resolve major competitive challenges the two technology pioneers face in the expanding cloud market, but their cooperation was seen as a symbolically important step. Microsoft Chief Executive Officer, Steve Ballmer has said that the two companies have long collaborated out of the public eye to meet customers’ needs, although being rivals. “In the world of cloud computing, I think behind-the-scenes collaboration is not enough.” The rivalry between Oracle and Microsoft dates back several decades and has been marked by a personal rivalry between the companies’ co founders: Larry Ellison and Bill Gates.
The deal will see Microsoft offering Oracle’s Java, Database and WebLogic Server to Windows Azure customers, while Oracle will also make Linux available to Windows Azure customers, both the companies have said, in a news release. Under the agreement, customers will be able to run Oracle software on Microsoft’s Server Hyper-V and on Windows Azure platforms. The deal means Microsoft is promoting Linux and Java-based software, rivals to its own Windows platform. Microsoft stands to benefit from getting any customer to pay for its data center services, regardless of the underlying software being used.
Microsoft’s large-scale cloud computing initiative, called Azure, has failed to catch up with Amazon’s cloud services called AWS (Amazon Web Services) over the past five years and shares of Amazon.com, which rents remote computing and storage to other companies, have surged 237 percent. During the same time period Oracle’s stock value has risen 38 percent and Microsoft’s shares are up 21 percent.
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