IBM and Microsoft have signed a new deal that will allow each company's software to run in the other's cloud. For developers, the biggest part of the deal is likely the fact that IBM's Bluemix cloud development platform will support Microsoft's .NET development tools. In addition, IBM's WebSphere Liberty, MQ and DB2 will be available through Microsoft Azure, and Winders Server and SQL Server are coming to IBM Cloud.
"The deal looks like additional proof—following on Monday's announcement of Microsoft's deal with Dell to produce a cloud computing appliance—that the company is ratcheting up its efforts to promote Azure for hybrid cloud computing implementations," said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT. "Frankly, Microsoft has been behind the curve in this regard, so pursuing enterprise-facing partners makes good strategic sense. Working with IBM should help Microsoft ensure that business customers ready for hybrid cloud will be able to access Windows Server, SQL Server and Hyper-V solutions via IBM SoftLayer. The deal also benefits IBM by expanding Microsoft Azure customers' access to its core middleware offerings—WebSphere, MQ and DB2. Overall, both stand to gain by working harmoniously together."