Microsoft CEO Nadella Calls Joint Oracle Offering A ‘Profound’ Moment For AI

“It’s actually my first time in Redmond,” Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison says.


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

Ellison said It was the first time he’d ever been to Microsoft’s Washington state hometown.

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

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

He said at the time, “There’s no way we can get ISVs onto Windows NT first without getting Oracle onto Windows NT.”

[RELATED: Oracle Q1 Earnings: CTO Ellison Calls GenAI ‘A Boon’ To Database Business]

Microsoft And Oracle Partner Up

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

The joint offering makes Microsoft the only cloud provider outside Oracle to host the latter’s services, according to Microsoft.

Nadella characterized the joint offering as helpful for rolling out artificial intelligence (AI).

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

Ellison said during the event that customers are glad to see two rivals cooperating. The colorful history between the two vendors includes Ellison hiring private detectives who were caught sifting through the trash of groups possibly linked to Microsoft, according to a 2000 Guardian article.

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

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

Ellison said that the partnership serves customers with data stuck between the cloud and on-premises.

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

For Microsoft, the partnership helps more customers move to the cloud and leverage 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 Azure’s security, flexibility and services while unlocking more Azure OpenAI use. Users gain an easier way to purchase and manage services from both vendors, according to the companies.

The joint offering should cut down on disjointed management, siloed tools and other issues with multicloud architectures, according to the companies. The joint offering supports Oracle Exadata Database services, Oracle Autonomous Database services and Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC).