Microsoft and partner Hewlett-Packard are holding a press conference this morning (January 13), where the pair are planning to announce a new joint investment "to prepare customers for the next generation of business computing," according to information provided to the media.
HP posted early its press release on the topic but pulled it before I could grab any more than the headline: "HP and Microsoft Simplify Technology Environments with Solutions Built on New Infrastructure-to-application Model." Whatever that means....
Update: More details about the $250 million cloud infrastructure deal are now at the bottom of this post.
Microsoft's press site connected with today's announcement points to its "IT Infrastructure" Web page, where Microsoft hosts information on everything from its cloud computing, to its virtualization products and everything in between. In December, Microsoft moved the Azure team to make it part of the company's Server and Tools division.
Given that Microsoft's Azure cloud environment officially opens for business of February 1 -- the date Microsoft starts charging customers for hosting data and apps in its cloud -- perhaps this is related in some way to Azure. (A side note: Microsoft isn't starting to charge users for its AppFabric development components for Azure until April, so this is somewhat of a rolling roll-out.)
Last May, Microsoft and HP announced a $180 million pact for four years to create and market unified communications products and services together.
In any case, I'm sure there will be lots of total-cost-of-ownership data and cost-savings promises involved. We'll find out more details around 11:15 a.m. ET today once the pair go live with the specifics. I'll provide an update.
Here are more details:
* It's a three-year, $250 million partnership
* Included deliverables: An engineering road map created by the pair for data management machines; jointly developed "pre-packaged" application solutions; integrated virtualization offerings; and integrated management tools. The pair is committing to integrate HP Insight Software, HP Business Technology Optimization software and Microsoft System Center with Microsoft Hyper-V Server.
* Joint sales/partnering network will sell the HP-Microsoft solutions
* Creation of a "deeply optimized machine environment" based on providing products like Exchange Server and SQL Server via "turnkey, pre-integrated server, storage, networking and application packages" that provide "'push button' simplicity in deployment and management" (according to the joint press release). These jointly developed apps will be in the aras of data warehousing, business-intellegence, transaction-processing and more, and will be cloud-deployable and/or on premises.
* The cloud angle: The pair will collaborate on the Windows Azure platform, with HP and Microsoft offering services, and Microsoft continuing to invest in HP hardware for Windows Azure infrastructure," the press release said.