Seeing Scott McNealy of Sun Microsystems (NASDAQ:SUNW) and Steve Ballmer of Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) smiling on the same stage last month while announcing their historic accord led me to a simple conclusion: The world must be turning upside down.

When I turned my computer on this morning I did a double take when I saw that Microsoft is at it again. This time, the target of a long-overdue, former "Evil Empire" hug is another archrival: Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL).

In an effort to "boost developer productivity," Microsoft and Oracle will partner to integrate Oracle Database with Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003. The move is expected to smooth the flow between Oracle-based applications and the Microsoft Windows platform.

With lawsuit after lawsuit staring Microsoft in the face, it has decided to put on a smile and get along with its sworn enemies instead of being drained with court costs and potentially material settlements. I might even start to believe that the Red Sox will play the Cubs in the World Series this year if Microsoft and Big Blue -- IBM (NYSE:IBM) -- become long-lasting friends.

Bill Gates, Microsoft's chairman and brainchild, recently foretold of a "quiet revolution in digital communication and collaboration" at a company-sponsored CEO summit. To tell you the truth, Microsoft is as quiet as about 1,000 of those leaf-and-grass blowers that landscapers use to clean up.

It seems that Microsoft is partnering with everybody. It also just started selling the most recent version of its Office program for Apple Computer's (NASDAQ:AAPL) Mac. This trend might at first appear to be limiting Microsoft's world dominance by letting other companies play, but it will probably keep it steady in markets it might have had to scale back in because of legal action.

Microsoft has been taking the necessary steps to maximize productivity and earnings, including saving about $80 million on recent employee benefit cuts. By partnering with former bitter rivals, Microsoft is taking the steam out of the monopoly theories and positioning itself quite well to be a prominent tech stock for years to come.

Is Microsoft a monopoly or a big teddy bear? Share your thoughts with other Fools on the Microsoft discussion board.

Fool contributor Phil Wohl spent more than 12 years on Wall Street and now concentrates his writing on more fictional characters. He has no stake in any firm mentioned above.