U.S. stock markets rose moderately today on little market-moving economic news. Merger offers such as the AT&T-DIRECTV tie-up and Pfizer's so-far foiled pursuit of AstraZeneca can often give investors confidence that companies see value in competitors, pushing shares broadly higher.
Microsoft's deal-making days are just beginning
Among a number of goals, Microsoft is trying to move more services onto the cloud, highlighted by Office 365 and enterprise cloud offerings.
The tech giant announced today that it's expanding a partnership with SAP (NYSE: SAP ) , one of the largest business software companies in the world, to bring SAP's applications to the cloud. Microsoft's cloud platform Azure is expected to run SAP applications as soon as the end of this quarter.
The partnership is key for both companies because it allows corporations to push software, applications, and data storage to the cloud instead of monitoring their own systems. This will also ensure operability of SAP software with Microsoft Excel, which is crucial for data-heavy outputs from SAP's software.
Important for Microsoft, SAP will also make apps for mobile devices. This could make Windows-powered tablets and smartphones more attractive to businesses, which have largely shunned Microsoft's move into mobile. This will be important, given that Microsoft CEO Satya Natella is introducing the next generation of Surface tablets at an event tomorrow.
Adding widely used enterprise software that integrates well with Microsoft software and cloud services is the latest advance for the Windows maker, which is moving away from reliance on PCs for revenue. Today's deal may not get the publicity tomorrow's Surface event does, but when it comes down to purchasing decisions for information technology organizations it's probably more important. That's an important win for Nadella as he looks to reshape Microsoft.
The biggest thing to come out of Silicon Valley in years
If you thought the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad were amazing, just wait until you see this. One hundred of Apple's top engineers are busy building one in a secret lab. And an ABI Research report predicts 485 million of them could be sold over the next decade. But you can invest in it right now... for just a fraction of the price of AAPL stock. Click here to get the full story in this eye-opening new report.