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Microsoft and Intuit Strike Cloud Computing Pact

The deal calls for Azure to be an Intuit preferred platform

Azure Session at Cloud Expo

Microsoft and Intuit are going to join their clouds, Azure and the Intuit Partner Platform (IPP), so developers can deliver and market web applications to the 27 million QuickBooks-using small businesses through the Intuit App Center.

The integration also means that small businesses can use Microsoft's cloud-based productivity applications via the Intuit App Center, presumably heading off some losses to Google Apps and Zoho.

The deal calls for Azure to be an Intuit preferred platform.

There's a free Azure beta SDK that will federate applications developed on Azure with the go-to-market IPP already available at http://developer.intuit.com/azure.

Integration is based on an extension of the QuickBooks data model and will provide APIs for single sign-on, billing, data integration and user management.

The companies expect a flood of SaaS apps to follow since together they have some 750,000 development firms and channel partners.

Azure launched February 1. Later this year, after they get the integrate just right and widgetry's formally out, Microsoft will make its Business Productivity Online Suite, including Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Office Live Meeting and Office Communications Online, available for purchase in the Intuit App Center.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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