What happens when partners compete?

NetApp and Microsoft say they are partners.

“Network Appliance is strategically committed to architecting storage solutions that are highly compatible with Microsoft technologies. Tight integration of licensed Windows® protocols and complete compatibility with Windows OS enhancements as well as Microsoft applications are Network Appliance™ development priorities. These solutions are backed by a global customer support infrastructure that integrates Microsoft Premier Support. “

But it looks like Microsoft is trying to compete with NetApp.

“Microsoft is on course to improve its share of the storage market that has long been dominated by EMC, Hewlett-Packard, NetApp and others, according to eWeek.

Ted Kummert, corporate VP of Microsoft’s data and storage platform division, said at Storage Networking World: “We’re making storage products that you can bet your business on.”

He says Microsoft has already proved itself as the “general platform for all data” – through widespread adoption of Windows, Microsoft Office and Exchange – and is carrying this experience forward into the storage market.”

When partners compete, they may both start to keep secrets from each other, and the partnership may eventually unravel. Will Sun and Microsoft have a stronger relationship then Sun and Microsoft each have with NetApp?

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