Microsoft And Oracle Will Announce Major Cloud Computing Partnership Next Monday

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Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer, its Azure chief Satya Nadella and Oracle’s president Mark Hurd are holding a joint press conference next week, just two days before Microsoft’s Build developer conference is scheduled to kick off in San Francisco. The press event follows Oracle’s earnings call that featured remarks by Oracle CEO Larry Ellison about a series of major partnership announcements next week, including one with Salesforce.com.

Update: the partnership has now been officially announced. Head over here to find out more about the details.

“Next week we will be announcing technology partnerships with the largest and most important SaaS companies (software-as-a-service) and infrastructure companies in the cloud,” Ellison said during the call.

With this press conference slated for Monday, questions are bubbling about what these companies have planned. Adding to the speculation: Oracle is starting to promote its 12c database technology, which the company announced last October and which Larry Ellison said today that companies will use for years to come. 12c is a pluggable in-memory database, which sounds strikingly similar to SAP HANA.

Industry observers I talk to say that it’s possible the two companies are planning their own big data initiative to compete with Pivotal and its mega-partnership with GE. Would that emerge as a separate company? That’s the path that EMC followed when it spun out several of its product groups and those from VMware. Cloud Foundry was part of that spin-out.

But the SAP angle has interesting possibilities. SAP has aligned closely with Amazon Web Services. Oracle could be looking to Microsoft to be its partner for big data, in-memory computing. For Pivotal, its effort is as much about big data as it is about application development. They also face SP as a competitor in the space.

In any case, it’s going to be an interesting week.