Microsoft and HP collaborate with cloud in mind


Microsoft and HP have announced the two companies will be working more closely together, with cloud computing as the partnership's driving force.

In a conference call today, the chief executives of both companies spoke of investing another $250 million (153 million) over three years into incorporating their software and hardware together to offer simpler technology environments for businesses of all sizes.

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's chief executive, said: "The world's accelerating, modern data centre approaches are accelerating [with] movement to a cloud model based on virtualisation."

He added: "We said the time is now, let's get after it, let's see if we can't get our technical teams [together] and if we can we can drive it all the way up to the application level and at the same time let our partners and sales partners to tell that story together."

The partnership will see the two work together on an engineering road map, starting with data management options and moving through to pre-packaged application solutions and virtualisation/cloud computing offerings.

Ballmer even mentioned the prospect of Azure as a private cloud within companies' data centres.

Both sides denied that this is similar to work they have done together before over the past 25 years, saying it was the "deepest level of collaboration and integration technical work" they have known any company to be involved with.

They did say, however, that it wouldn't stop them from working with their current partners.

Asked about HP's relationship with Oracle and whether this was a reaction to the pending acquisition of Sun, the chief executive of HP, Mark Hird, said: "Oracle is a great partner of ours but I am here to talk about Microsoft to be frank. I think Oracle will be an important partner of us going forward."

"We accept that HP are going to work with guys that we compete with [and vice versa] but it is not going to stop us working together," added Ballmer.

The companies also confirmed that some of the extra investment would go towards future research and development although they declined to break down how much of the $250 million would be directed to that cause.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.