In addition to Google, other cloud hosts and software providers, such as Digital Ocean, Amazon Web Services and VMware, have supported Docker, as well as enterprise Linux software vendors such as Red Hat and CoreOS.
"Microsoft wisely decided that it did not want to leave Windows developers out of the Docker party," wrote Al Hilwa, IDC program director overseeing software development research, in an email.
The move also shows that the company is changing its attitude about open source, which it has previously seen as mostly a competitive threat, Hilwa noted.
"I really think we are seeing a faster and more open Microsoft, one that is more willing to integrate and collaborate with competing technologies without a lot of hesitation," Hilwa wrote.
Docker will also set up a location within Docker Hub to store Windows containers. The repository now hosts 45,000 Linux-based Docker containers. The two companies will also provide a connection between Docker Hub and the Windows Azure service.
Docker's open source development has been overseen by the company of the same name, which has been backed by a number of venture capital firms such as AME Cloud Ventures, Benchmark, Greylock Partners, Insight Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital and Y Combinator.
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