Microsoft and HP are teaming to offer their combined cloud products to businesses in major markets.
and Microsoft will jointly offer private and public cloud solutions for
organizations under a newly announced four-year initiative.
solutions will break down into three separate verticals: "Private Cloud,"
involving a combination of HP Enterprise Cloud Services and Microsoft cloud
products-including Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, SharePoint Server 2010 and
Lync Server 2010-delivered via HP data centers; "Public Cloud," primarily
Microsoft's Office 365 cloud-productivity software; and a "Hybrid Solution"
wherein HP resells Office 365 with HP Enterprise Cloud Services.
will first become available this month in certain major markets, including the
United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.
not only broadens Microsoft's geographic reach," Mark Hill, vice president of
Microsoft's Enterprise Server Group, wrote in a Dec. 8 statement, "it gives
customers maximum flexibility to choose a cloud computing solution that meets
their organization's specialized messaging and collaboration needs."
CEO Leo Apotheker, HP began reshaping itself as an enterprise-services company.
In August, he announced that HP would acquire U.K.-based Autonomy, an
enterprise-IT provider, for around $10 billion. At the same time, he indicated
that the company's PC manufacturing division was under consideration for a
Meg Whitman later decided to keep that manufacturing division in-house, but HP
nonetheless continues to drive forward in the area of enterprise IT services.
Certainly, it has no choice: rivals such as Oracle have made no secret of their
determination to dominate that increasingly lucrative area by any means
also been making its own determined cloud push, with a raft of new services,
including Office 365 and Windows Azure. These represent Microsoft's attempts to
expand its revenue base beyond traditional, desktop-bound software such as
Windows and Office.
With all the
supposed advantages of the cloud-and the cost savings for companies who no
longer need to buy on-premises IT infrastructure-it does carry some risks. Over
the summer, customers of Office 365 were hit by outages. Other cloud-centric
companies, including Amazon and Google, have likewise wrestled at moments with
downtime. Despite those incidents, businesses overall seem to be interested in
the cloud's capabilities, even if many of them remain largely on-premises for
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Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.