As alluded by Big Blue's Doug Clark in an interview published yesterday, deals like this have all to do with offering more choice to enterprise customers, choice that Microsoft reckons will help them win more business opportunities, spur innovation and reduce costs.
The deal will see the likes of WebSphere Liberty, MQ and DB2 rolled out on Azure while SQL Server and Windows Server will run on IBM Cloud.
The two have also confirmed that they will make IBM's Pure Application Service available on Azure and will work on delivering a Microsoft .Net runtime for Big Blue's Bluemix cloud development platform.
IBM also committed to expanding support for its applications running on Windows Server Hyper-V.
As curious as the move sounds, it does make sense for the two. Microsoft reckons it's all down to an acceleration in the adoption of the hybrid cloud.
Our guess is that it might have more to do with ring-fencing lucrative customers. After all, Microsoft and IBM would probably rather "exchange" business rather than see it lost to AWS or Google.
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Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.