Satya Nadella, Pat Gelsigner and Michael Dell have together announced a new partnership between the tech trio to deliver VMware cloud infrastructure natively on Microsoft Azure.
The Microsoft CEO made a surprise appearance at Dell Technologies World in Las Vegas on Monday, joining Gelsigner and Michael Dell on stage to announce the partnership.
The tie-up will see VMware's Cloud Foundation delivered and deployed natively on Azure. Customers will be able to migrate and manage their on-premise workloads to Azure without needing to reconfigure their applications.
Unlike VMware's partnership with Amazon, called VMware on AWS, the Azure/VMware service will be wholly managed by Microsoft.
Speaking on stage in front of thousands of Dell Technologies World delegates, Nadella reflected on a 30-year-long partnership between Dell and Microsoft.
"Ever since you started Dell, we've been working together on the core agenda of any transformation, which is empowering employees. Anything we achieve as an organisation starts with making sure employees have the best tools and that's what the PC has always represented and what caused Dell's innovation and Windows innovation to come together," he said.
"Think about Windows 10 - it is the best momentum we have ever had; we have 800 million devices out there today with Windows 10 and that's just very strong.
"What we describe as Microsoft 365 has become the essential tool for communication and collaboration as well as security and compliance. Now being able to partner with Microsoft 365 broadly across VMware and Dell can take what we've done historically to the next frontier."
Michael Dell also took the audience back to when Dell and Microsoft first linked arms on the PC market.
"Back when we started working with Microsoft it was all about the PC and the democratising of technology and making the PC available to everyone," he said.
"VMware has an incredible install base and is growing with great momentum. It is a complete on-premise solution that brings the virtualisation of compute and storage and network and now we are bringing the VMware cloud combination into Azure.
"Customers are quite excited about that. And we heard lots of demand for this as we were planning it, so it's great to bring the solution to market now this year."
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