Microsoft will start letting customers run Azure programs in clouds owned by Amazon and Google

Microsoft has taken yet another step toward ending the era of proprietary software, rolling out technology that will let customers use its Azure cloud tools on competing services.

Microsoft introduced Azure Arc software at its Ignite conference in Orlando, Florida, on Monday. Developers will be able to use Arc to deploy a database or virtual machine onto infrastructure from Amazon or Google and manage it from Azure.

The move underscores the change in tone and strategy at Microsoft under CEO Satya Nadella, who succeeded Steve Ballmer in 2014 and began forging partnerships with longtime rivals so customers could choose the technology that works best for them rather than being forced to purchase bundles. For example, in recent years Microsoft has made its products more accessible on Apple’s iOS devices and integrated the open-source Linux operating system into Windows.

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