Oracle founder Larry Ellison makes first-ever trip to Microsoft headquarters for cloud announcement

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Oracle Co-founder Larry Ellison, left, and Microsoft Co-founder Bill Gates watch a match between Gael Monfils of France and Alexander Zverev of Germany during the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif., on Oct. 13, 2021.

Sean M. Haffey | Getty Images

Larry Ellison, the co-founder, chairman and chief technology officer of Oracle, has been going up against Microsoft in database software for more than 30 years. He also dealt with clients who wanted to connect Oracle and Microsoft products. He was in Seattle to announce a new collaboration between Microsoft and Oracle. Oracle is placing its Exadata hardware, which contains servers for databases and storage, inside the data centers that Microsoft uses to run its Azure public-cloud service for hosting applications.

Organizations will be able to store data with Oracle’s database software by using Azure, rather than having to install Oracle hardware in their own data centers or use Oracle’s public cloud. Putting the Oracle equipment in Azure data centers means that applications will be able to quickly access data from the databases.

“It was lovely to come up here, said Ellison in a virtual presentation on the announcement, which he teased on Oracle’s earnings call with analysts on Monday. It’s my first visit to Redmond. It’s almost impossible to believe. It was very late in my professional career that I made this trip. “

Nadella emphasized the importance of Microsoft and Oracle working in partnership by recalling a memory from before he was a manager for teams that built Azure, Bing, and Dynamics. Nadella joined Microsoft in 1992 from Sun Microsystems, where he was a program director in the Windows Developer Relations group. “I told them that we couldn’t get ISVs on Windows NT without first getting Oracle onto Windows NT. Nadella said that the new collaboration could help companies move workloads more quickly from their existing data centres to the public cloud. Oracle and Microsoft are still competing to sell cloud infrastructure. However, Azure is bigger and more mature. Oracle wants its customers to continue using Oracle products, even as they move to other clouds. Microsoft’s antitrust lawsuit against the U.S. Justice Department was at its height in 2000. The tension between the companies peaked in that year. Oracle told media outlets that it had hired a detective firm that tried to buy trash from a Microsoft-backed trade group by offering money to janitors working at the group’s office in Washington.

Ellison co-founded Oracle in 1977 and is the world’s fifth richest person in the world, while Bill Gates, who co-founded Microsoft with Paul Allen in 1975, ranks fourth, according to Bloomberg. But Ellison controls 42% of Oracle’s outstanding shares, while Gates owns just over 1% of Microsoft stock, according to FactSet.

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