I couldn't help but think of Microsoft and its track record of "partnerships" when I read this quote from Carla Bruni, France President Nicolas Sarkozy's fiancee.
"I am faithful -- to myself! I am bored to death by monogamy."
I don't know about you, but I'd be feeling pretty secure in that impending marriage. :-)
And so it is with Microsoft (and increasingly Oracle). As these behemoths take on more and more of the enterprise software market, there's no easy way for them to truly partner with companies. There will always be an angle - a rather sharp one - not far from the memorandum of understanding.
Are they bad companies? Perhaps. At times. But really they're just acting out the necessary consequences of their heft. This is why it's so hard to trust them and engage them if you're anything less than a fellow multi-billion dollar behemoth.