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The companies said on Wednesday they’re putting software assets on each other’s cloud services. At IBM, that service is IBM Cloud, at Microsoft, it’s Azure. As such, IBM is making middleware such as WebSphere Liberty, MQ and DB2 available on Azure, while Windows Server and SQL Server will be offered on IBM Cloud.
Microsoft and IBM further plan to deliver a Microsoft .NET runtime for IBM’s Bluemix cloud development platform. And, finally, in support of hybrid cloud, IBM will expand support of its software running on Windows Server Hyper-V, and the companies plan to make IBM Pure Application Service available on Azure.
“Together we are creating new opportunities to drive innovation in hybrid cloud,” Robert LeBlanc, senior vice president of the software and cloud solutions group at IBM, said in a prepared statement. “This agreement reinforces IBM’s strategy in providing open cloud technology for the enterprise. Clients will now gain unprecedented access to IBM’s leading middleware and will have an even greater level of choice over the tools that they use to build and deploy their cloud environments.”
Similarly, Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of Microsoft’s cloud and enterprise efforts, said the agreement means “more customers will be able to take advantage of the hyper-scale, enterprise performance and hybrid capabilities of Azure.”
Indeed, observers note that the partnership is meant to help IBM and Microsoft better compete with Amazon, which is the cloud leader and that does not have a specific developer community. That’s not the case at Microsoft and IBM. They do have development communities. Now, the idea is that if Big Blue and Bill Gates’ brainchild can appeal to enterprise developers, they’ll secure more users and gain more market share.