Microsoft and the mobile web giant Apple are expected to announce their collaboration on the cloud this week, according to sources close to the talks.
The move is being seen as an acknowledgement by both companies that the web has become a more critical business, particularly for the cloud, and that it is time to embrace it as an extension of their business models.
Apple has said its web services will be open source, and Microsoft has said it will not be using a proprietary cloud platform.
Apple is already using its cloud to make its own apps available on iOS and OS X.
Apple’s web services, known as iBooks and iTunes, are already available in the App Store, as well as a third-party app store, and there is no sign that Microsoft is planning to add any of those platforms to its cloud.
Microsoft has previously said it would not be taking a cloud approach, but it is believed to be trying to align with Google and Amazon by building its own services.
If Microsoft is able to move beyond its cloud strategy and is able get on with its existing products and services, then it will have to go much further than Apple in order to match the scale of its services.
Apple and Google are competing for a slice of the $3.5 trillion cloud market, and the cloud could become a key way of competing.
The cloud, for Microsoft, is just one part of the company’s overall strategy to drive a more profitable cloud business.
Microsoft is also developing a cloud-based version of Office for Windows and Office 365, which is expected to be the next iteration of the Office suite.
In the cloud space, Apple is the largest player, with more than 40 per cent of the market.
Google has been developing its own cloud-oriented cloud products, which have been in beta for years.
But those products have largely failed to compete with Microsoft’s offerings.
Microsoft, however, has had success with the cloud.
In the last year, the company has moved aggressively into cloud storage and has opened up the cloud to third-parties, including Apple, Google and Microsoft.
Microsoft has long maintained a “no cloud” policy, and it has also invested heavily in the cloud itself.
Last week, Microsoft said that it would invest $1.4 billion in its cloud services by 2020, which will help it build out a cloud infrastructure that will be more robust, scalable and reliable than the current infrastructure.