Microsoft-Oracle deal: What you need to know

'Frenemies' Microsoft and Oracle just cemented a new partnership. Here's what is really new and worth knowing about the alliance.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Microsoft and Oracle announced a lot of piece parts with their June 24 partnership around Azure and Oracle databases and middleware.


Here's your Cliffs Notes version: Oracle apps are now certified to run on Windows Server, Hyper-V, and Windows Azure. Up until today, they were only certified to run on Windows Server. Oracle Linux also gets added to the list of Linux varianst supported in Azure's VMs, too.

Microsoft already has been certifying its own applications on Windows Azure, including its SQL Server database. (Here's a list of which versions of various database, security and other enterprise products are certified as running on Azure's persistent virtual machines.) Now Oracle's own databases and its WebLogic middleware are added to that list.

Microsoft already has supported Java development on Windows Azure. Today, Oracle and Microsoft said they'd take Java support a step further, with Oracle certifying Java to run on Hyper-V and Windows Azure.

"It's about time. We're happy to work in newer and more constructive ways with Oracle," said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer during a call with press and analysts about the new partnership. (Microsoft and Oracle are more than just software rivals; there's some very, very bad history between the two, for those who haven't followed along from home.)

Why did Microsoft and Oracle announce this partnership today -- beyond the fact that Oracle's CEO Larry Ellison kind of pre-announced it last week during Oracle's earnings call? After all, Oracle already had a long-standing partnership with Amazon so that its apps run on AWS. Rackspace, another Microsoft competitor, just announced today increased support of MongoDB on its cloud platform.

Is there another cloud shoe about to drop with Google? I have no idea. But I'm thinking the cloud-app certification wars are the next battleground ....

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