Customers simply "are committed to a lot of Microsoft technology," Hurd said. Oracle and Microsoft "do different things, and there are a few things we both do," Hurd said. "It just makes sense for us to continue to improve our own capabilities but also allow customers the ability to leverage both of our capabilities together."
Oracle has its own cloud service similar to Azure, but the pact with Microsoft nonetheless fits its strategy, according to Hurd. "Our cloud is an open cloud," he said. "It's about the [intellectual property], not the delivery architecture. The fact that more people get access to our IP is favorable. It's good for our customers and therefore good for Oracle."
The deal also "gives Microsoft clear competitive advantages against two of its top rivals," Forrester Research analyst James Staten said in a blog post on Monday. It strengthens Hyper-V against VMware's vSphere and gives Windows Azure "near equal position" against Amazon Web Services (AWS) in the cloud platform wars, he wrote. Staten also noted that the fully licensed support covers all Oracle software, while AWS has a similar support relationship with Oracle.
Oracle is offering its next-generation Fusion Applications through its cloud service, which also includes PaaS (platform as a service) capabilities for extending the software.
There's no doubt Oracle would prefer customers stick to its own cloud, but it is "wisely acknowledging the market momentum behind AWS and Windows Azure and ensuring Oracle presence where its customers are going," Staten added. "These moves are also necessary to combat the widespread use of open-source alternatives to Oracle's middleware and database products on these new deployment platforms."
Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com