Microsoft and Oracle today announced that they are putting their differences aside to strike a strategic partnership in the cloud enterprise space. The deal covers both the private cloud and the public cloud, encompassing multiple new options.

Firstly, Oracle will certify and support customers who already run its software on Windows Server to run that same software on Windows Server Hyper-V or in Windows Azure. Oracle customers also gain the benefit to run their Oracle software licenses in Windows Azure “with new license mobility.”

Hyper-V and Azure support starts immediately, but the partnership doesn’t end there. Microsoft and Oracle have agreed to work together to “add properly licensed, and fully supported Java into Windows Azure.”

Microsoft will also add Infrastructure Services instances with preconfigured versions of Oracle Database and Oracle WebLogic Server for customers who do not have Oracle licenses while Oracle will enable customers to obtain and launch Oracle Linux images on Windows Azure. Details as to when exactly this integration will be available were not shared.

In summary, here’s what the partnership encompasses:

  • Effective today, Oracle customers can run supported Oracle software on Windows Server Hyper-V and in Windows Azure.
  • Effective today, Oracle provides license mobility for customers who want to run Oracle software on Windows Azure.
  • Microsoft will add Infrastructure Services instances with popular configurations of Oracle software including Java, Oracle Database, and Oracle WebLogic Server to the Windows Azure image gallery.
  • Microsoft will offer fully licensed and supported Java in Windows Azure.
  • Oracle will offer Oracle Linux, with a variety of Oracle software, as preconfigured instances on Windows Azure.

During a conference call today, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer talked of a “tipping point” in regards to the partnership. “A lot has happened and we’re going to continue to compete in areas,” he said. “I think both companies have always, at least many many years, have had respect for one another.”

Oracle President Mark Hurd agreed: “I think it just makes sense for us to continue to improve our own capabilities but also allow customers to leverage both of our capabilities together,” he said on the same call. “I think this makes a lot of sense for both of us…because it makes a lot of sense for our customers.”

Oracle first hinted at today’s news during an earnings call on Friday. The enterprise company said it had plans to announce new technology partnerships with not just Microsoft, but Salesforce and Netsuite as well.

Top Image Credit: Wong Mei Teng