Microsoft CEO Nadella called on the combined Oracle to offer a ‘profound’ moment for AI

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Wade Tyler Milward

“This is my first time in Redmond,” says Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison.

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A rare joint appearance Thursday from the two tech titans — Oracle Chief Technology Officer Larry Ellison and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella — prompted some interesting revelations.

Ellison said it was the first time he had visited Microsoft’s Washington state hometown.

“This is my first time in Redmond,” said Ellison, who co-founded Oracle in 1977. “It’s hard to believe. I waited until very late in my career.

For his own fun fact, Nadella said that in his first week at Microsoft in 1992, he was tasked with getting more independent software vendors on board with the Windows NT graphical operating system.

“There’s no way to get ISV on Windows NT without first getting Oracle on Windows NT,” he said at the time.

(Related: Oracle Q1 earnings: CTO Ellison calls GenAI ‘boon’ for database business)

Microsoft and Oracle partner up

The two executives spoke during an event streamed online to unveil Oracle Database@Azure, a vendor partnership that gives users direct access to Oracle database services on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) and deployed in Microsoft Azure data centers.

The combined offering makes Microsoft the only cloud provider outside of Oracle, according to Microsoft.

Nadella noted that the joint offer is useful for bringing in artificial intelligence (AI).

“Whether it’s fine-tuning the model, pre-training the model or meta-prompting the model requires low-latency access to data,” Nadella said. “And so we’re very excited. I think this is the moment where data and AI are coming together to transform business and business processes – there couldn’t be a more profound time for these two things.

Ellison said during the event that customers were happy to see the two rivals collaborate. The colorful history between the two vendors involved Ellison hiring private detectives who were caught sifting through waste from groups possibly connected to Microsoft, according to a 2000 Guardian article.

In recent years, the two vendors competed to become the technology provider for the parent company of the popular social media application TikTok.

Last year, Nadella described the companies’ partnership as “a great opportunity for our partners” during a joint virtual appearance.

Ellison said the partnership serves customers with data trapped in the cloud and on-premises.

“The vast majority of data has not yet migrated from on-premise to the cloud – but it will,” he said. “And we’re trying to accelerate that process to make it easier for customers to move their entire data center workloads to the cloud. And that means moving all those Oracle databases, which are currently on-premises, to the cloud.

For Microsoft, the partnership helps more customers move to the cloud and benefit from AI if they choose, Nadella said. Microsoft has taken an early lead in the generative AI (GenAI) race. Thanks to Microsoft-backed OpenAI.

Oracle Database@Azure promises the performance, scale and workload availability of Oracle Database on OCI with the security, flexibility and services of Azure while unlocking more Azure OpenAI usage. According to the companies, users get an easier way to purchase and manage services from both vendors.

According to the companies, the combined offering should reduce other issues including disjointed management, siled tools and multicloud architecture. The combined offering supports Oracle Exadata Database Services, Oracle Autonomous Database Services and Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC).

    Learn about Wade Tyler Millward

Wade Tyler Milward

Wade Tyler Millward is an associate editor covering cloud computing and the channel partner programs of Microsoft, IBM, Red Hat, Oracle, Salesforce, Citrix and other cloud vendors. He can be reached at

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