Oracle and Microsoft today announced new features of the two companies' cloud collaborations, revealing Oracle Database, Java Platform Standard Edition for provision on Windows Server, as well as Oracle WebLogic onto Windows-based virtual machines running on the Azure platform.
Speaking at Oracle OpenWorld 2013 in San Francisco, Microsoft's corporate VP of cloud and enterprise, Brad Anderson, said "enterprises win" as a result of this move which, curiously, will see Microsoft products running on the Linux platform, which Anderson assured delegates will be a "first class citizen" in Microsoft's strategy.
Anderson explained how three out of four pieces of server hardware sold are now running Windows Server, but will go on to run Oracle workloads, so it seemed a natural step to work more closely with Oracle.
The two companies had already announced an intention to work closer together back in June 2013, but Anderson called today's announcement the industry's "only public cloud... where you can come and provision those workloads in a public cloud with full support on Windows and on Linux, with full support from Oracle".
"We're the only provider taking everything we're learning and giving it back," continued Anderson before proclaiming, "It's started".
Computing sat down with analysts from Gartner to find out exactly what has "started", with Chad Eschinger saying, "If I had to put a hunch on it, I'd say it's ‘co-opetition', but it's also the openness of Oracle to integrate and collaborate with another major competitor such as Microsoft."
Dennis Gaughan, a managing VP within Gartner's Enterprise Software research team, called the announcement "a big deal for Microsoft", in that the company was recognising that its customers want flexibility and choice behind the Windows platform.
"I also think there's convenience in the mutual benefit," said Gaughan.
"Oracle's later to the cloud game than Microsoft, and certainly other vendors that they compete with, so by making partnerships with Salesforce, NetSuite and Microsoft, who have established a fairly significant presence in the cloud, Oracle have an opportunity to say ‘We're working with some of the leading cloud vendors out there, and they're using our technology'.
"So it's a way for them to prop up some of their services, and give them credibility."
Gaughan agreed that the partnership indicated that Microsoft is ready to mature into a modern, cloud-based landscape.
"They've obviously got a lot of change underfoot, not only the leadership change they're working through, but also a significant change in strategy and organisation," he said.
"I do think in some respects it's a maturing of Microsoft, recognising that the cloud changes and disrupts business models, and they're recognising the need to make changes in order to adapt and survive."
"A lot of the time it does take these kinds of interruptions to force a company that's had so much success over the years to look for alternatives, so as not to lose their customer base," Gaughan concluded.