The $250 million Microsoft-HP partnership, unveiled on January 13
, has resulted in lots of different interpretations. Itís a public cloud play. No, itís a private cloud play. Or maybe itís just a veiled attempt to lock partners and customers in by selling integrated hardware/software/services stacks (known as ďSmart Bundles
ď). Or maybe itís all of the aboveÖ.
I couldnít help feeling the timing of the announcement ó coming a day after Microsoft rival VMware bought messaging vendor Zimbra from Yahoo
ó wasnít purely coincidental. There was an awful lot of emphasis by HP and Microsoft officials during the conference call today with press and analysts about the fact this deal has been in the making since April 2009. But remember, there were rumors days ago that VMWare
, headed by former Microsoft big-wig Paul Maritz
, was going to snap up Zimbra to supplement VMwareís story around providing an end-to-end stack. Iíd bet that had something (and maybe quite a bit) about the timing.