Tech heavyweights Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft on Jan. 13 announced an ambitious partnership under which they will jointly invest $250 million over three years to develop and market systems geared toward cloud computing, Information Week reports. “The cloud is the driving force behind this deal at this time,” said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, on a conference call with reporters. “This is entirely cloud motivated,” said Ballmer.  Cloud computing is a new-wave IT architecture under which business tap their data and applications over the Internet or intranets instead of from local servers. Under the tie up, Microsoft and HP will work together to build and integrate technologies, including virtualization, systems management and storage, that support cloud computing.  For instance, HP will reengineer some of its hardware to improve its ability to run Microsoft’s SQL Server database and Hyper-V virtualization server software. It will also enhance management software such as HP Insight and Business Technology Optimization for tighter integration with Windows datacenter environments…

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Laura Ascione is the Managing Editor, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. When she isn't wrangling her two children, Laura enjoys running, photography, home improvement, and rooting for the Terps. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura http://twitter.com/eSN_Laura