This is fantastic news for customers. Microsoft and HP have had a long-standing technology partnership that's spanned over 25 years. But today, we've announced an expansion of that agreement that likely makes this the deepest and most far-reaching alliance of its kind in the industry.

Today, both companies have agreed to invest $250 million over the next three years aimed at simplifying IT technology environments and driving innovation for the next generation of computing. The idea is to provide a series of new end-to-end solutions tightly integrated from the hardware layer up through applications and services - a concept we're calling the infrastructure-to-application model.

This long-term agreement is huge news for customers across several fronts. First, we'll be collaborating with HP on engineering roadmaps and product development. That means total management control and performance tweaking capabilities across the entire IT technology stack. It also means the ability to much more easily deliver on new technology visions, including on- and off-premise cloud computing. Tight product integration also means new product possibilities, notably pre-configured hardware/software stacks optimized not just for performance and reliability, but also capable of delivering push-button simplicity when it comes to management and monitoring. This will be especially helpful to Microsoft Exchange Server and SQL Server customers with easy deployment, simple management and lower TCO. Look for these products to be:

  • Optimized for virtualization via Hyper-V,
  • Offer new management capabilities with the integration of Microsoft's and HP's management software, and
  • Leverage these technology combinations to help deliver on on-premise cloud computing in heterogeneous datacenter environments.

These solutions will combine server, storage, networking and application technologies into automated and self-managing product offerings all aimed at redefining what businesses can expect from their IT resources. And that concept will be extended beyond your in-house servers and out to the cloud with Microsoft and HP collaborating on the Windows Azure platform with new tools and services.

What I really like about the agreement is its intention to develop not just for enterprises but for small- and medium-sized businesses as well. The new IT stack that will come out of this alliance will offer tools that let enterprises build the most powerful data centers they've ever had. But it'll also redefine how small- and medium-sized businesses can compete and differentiate themselves using IT. And with both Microsoft and HP's partner networks available and capable of designing customized IT solutions using the fruits of this alliance, the next three years look especially rosy for businesses looking to maximize their IT investment dollars.  

Which also means new opportunities for Microsoft and HP's partner community. The new agreement means shortened sales cycles using new Smart Bundles and all-inclusive product packages that will appeal to many industry segments. Partners will also be able to leverage flexible financing options through HP's Financial Services as well as new sales and lead-generation tools via HP and Microsoft's combined partner resource community.

Check here for some immediately available solutions out of the new alliance. And for more information there's this outline of the new agreement as well as a teleconference of Microsoft and HP executives announcing the agreement available here.

Oliver Rist

Sr. Product Manager

Windows Server Marketing