Microsoft and IBM today announced a partnership that will see the two companies bring their respective enterprise software to Microsoft Azure and IBM Cloud. The duo believe the relationship will help their respective clients, partners, and developers by offering more choice in the cloud.

The companies will also let customers bring their own software licenses to the Microsoft and IBM clouds, with the goal of helping customers avoid extra costs. In turn, Microsoft and IBM hope to gain new business opportunities, spur innovation, and reduce costs.

The two are promising to make key IBM middleware such as WebSphere Liberty, MQ, and DB2 available in the Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines service. IBM will expand support of its software running on Windows Server Hyper-V, and the companies plan to make IBM Pure Application Service available on Azure. Microsoft will offer IBM middleware software licenses to Azure customers with pay-per-use pricing.

The two will also work together to deliver Microsoft .NET runtimes, along with relevant tooling, for IBM’s Bluemix cloud development platform. At the same time, Windows Server and SQL Server will be offered on IBM Cloud.

The hope is that millions of .NET developers will want to build applications at scale for clients on IBM’s cloud platform. The duo say they will start by offering a limited preview of .NET operating within Bluemix, and then go from there.

We have asked Microsoft and IBM for more information regarding timing and will update this post if we learn more.

Update: Microsoft responded with the following details.

  • In the coming weeks, Microsoft Open Technologies, a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft, will publish license-included virtual machine images with key IBM software pre-installed. Customers can take advantage of these virtual machines to use the included IBM software in a “pay-per-use” fashion.
  • Effective immediately, IBM has updated its policies to allow customers to bring their own license to Microsoft Azure by installing supported IBM software on a virtual machine in Azure.
  • Windows Server and SQL Server are available for use on IBM Cloud effective immediately.
  • For .NET operating within Bluemix, the companies will begin with a limited preview at a future date.

IBM has yet to respond but we don’t expect the company will be able to share anything Microsoft hasn’t.