Bottom line: While an unusual move for what are essentially competitors, the partnership will seemingly help the two better compete with other cloud computing giants like Amazon and Google. But will the lure of two services

Microsoft and Oracle on Wednesday announced a partnership in which the two will directly link their cloud services together, allowing customers to tap into the best features of Azure and Oracle Cloud.

Customers will be able to mix and match services from each provider, running one part of a workload within Azure and another part of the same workload within the Oracle Cloud. For example, you could run Oracle E-Business Suite or Oracle JD Edwards on Azure against an Oracle Autonomous Database running on Exadata infrastructure in the Oracle Cloud.

The two will also offer unified identity and access management through a single sign-on experience and automated user provisioning.

Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of Microsoft's Cloud and AI division, said that with Oracle's enterprise expertise, the alliance is a natural choice as it helps joint customers accelerate the migration of enterprise applications and databases to the public cloud.

Don Johnson, executive vice president, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), said customers can migrate their entire set of existing applications to the cloud without having to re-architect anything, preserving the large investments they have already made.

Microsoft and Oracle said the direct interconnect between their services starts today in Ashburn (North America) and Azure US East and will expand to other regions in the future.

As Gartner analyst Ed Anderson highlights, there are still some unknowns regarding the partnership. For example, will customers be met with fees for transferring large amounts of data back and forth between services?