Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft have announced a three-year, US$250 million deal to develop hardware and software products which will be focused on management and virtualisation solutions for data centers, prepackaged solutions for data warehousing technology and the Windows Azure platform.
With this deal, the two companies intend to benefit from the rebound in information technology spending by businesses and in light of cloud computing emerging as the most sought-after technology.
"This is all about integrating technology and making things as close to ’plug and play’ as we can," HP CEO Mark Hurd said during a conference call with reporters and analysts.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who was also present during the conference call, added that “The cloud is the driving force behind this deal.”
Microsoft, the world’s biggest software company and a prominent player in the business software market, will use hardware technology developed by HP in data centers which will run on Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud-based operating system.
HP on the other hand, will develop data centers which will be sold pre-loaded with the Azure Cloud infrastructure.
Interestingly, industry experts have predicted that, taking into account the present demand for cloud technology, businesses may spend around $95 billion for acquiring cloud computing technology by 2011.
Microsoft's strategic partnership with HP could have very profound effects on the cloud computing market. Microsoft is relying on HP as it did in the past on IBM but the Wintel platform in general is going through a major paradigm shift with the web playing a vital role.