WSJ.com - Oracle, Microsoft Join on Software "Microsoft Corp. and Oracle Corp. announced a technology partnership that could signal a thaw in the combative relationship between two of the software industry's fiercest rivals.
Under the arrangement, software developers will be able to use Microsoft's tools to write programs for Oracle's database systems. It is the first formal agreement between the two companies, according to executives on both sides.
Oracle Chief Executive Larry Ellison said his company and Microsoft are discussing additional efforts, including joint advertising to promote the use of Oracle's database software on top of Microsoft's Windows operating system. That would be notable because Microsoft's own database software, SQL Server, competes directly with Oracle's offerings.
Before the announcement, Mr. Ellison said the advertising effort "was proposed by Microsoft, and I was surprised by that." He said the campaign would highlight capabilities of Oracle's software based on "grids" or "clusters" of multiple computers, features that aren't yet available from Microsoft. Chuck Phillips, Oracle co-president, has discussed the possible advertising initiative with Microsoft executives, Mr. Ellison said.
Analysts said the closer ties between Oracle and Microsoft reflect demands from corporate customers, who are increasingly impatient with industry feuds that hinder integration of technology from multiple vendors. Such customer demands were cited in last month's $1.95 billion settlement deal between Microsoft and longtime rival Sun Microsystems Inc. and in last week's technology partnership between Microsoft and SAP AG of Germany."
I imagine this move by Oracle may also have been driven by IBM's plans to support .NET (Visual Studio integration as well as .NET Framework support for stored procedures and user-defined data types) in the "Stinger" release of DB2 that's now in beta.