The deal makes Amazon a stronger challenger to Microsoft, which has been pushing its hybrid cloud capabilities as a key benefit of its server software.
"This should cause some challenges for Microsoft, since it can no longer use this lack of a robust, multi-geography VMware public cloud alternative as a wedge to move customers off of VMware ESX over to Hyper-V and Azure," IDC Group Vice President Al Gillen said in an email.
Jassy took a potshot at Microsoft's Azure Stack private cloud software during a question-and-answer session following the announcement. He said the customers he talked to don't want to buy new hardware, especially new custom hardware like Azure Stack will require.
Instead, they want to use the same vCenter software that they're used to, which this partnership lets them do, he said.
Interested customers can request access to the service's private beta starting Thursday, but VMware doesn't expect the service to be live until early next year. General availability of VMware cloud on AWS will have to wait until even later in 2017.
The news comes about a month in advance of AWS's big re:Invent show in Las Vegas at the end of November. That show's likely bring a new set of services to AWS.
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