Fujitsu And Microsoft Teaming Up In The Cloud

Is Japanese tech giant Fujitsu going to offer Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud platform within its data centers? A Dow Jones Newswires report came out suggesting just that. And yes, Microsoft and Fujitsu confirmed pieces of the story today during the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC10). Here are the details.

When Fujitsu launched its own cloud platform in April 2010, MSPmentor asked how they would differentiate themselves in an increasingly crowded market. Well, offering Windows Azure to customers would certainly fit that bill -- Microsoft is notoriously protective of its cloud IP and insists on hosting its BPOS SaaS productivity suite themselves.

But Microsoft seems to be opening its mind to private clouds. During WPC10 today, Microsoft announced a Windows Azure Appliance initially backed by Fujitsu, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and eBay. Fujitsu is intriguing because the company is Japan's largest IT provider. Looking ahead, Microsoft will be able to leverage Fujitsu’s cloud customer base and bring some of them over to Azure, and Fujitsu would be able to garner new business by offering Microsoft cloud solutions. It sounds like a win-win to me.

Microsoft’s given a lot of lip service to the cloud, and CEO Steve Ballmer says that it’s going to be driving the company’s growth going forward. Similarly, that Dow Jones report says that Fujitsu is going to spend 100 billion yen this year on cloud development and CAPEX.

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