Microsoft and Intuit today announced plans to integrate their two cloud platforms – the Intuit Partner Platform and the Windows Azure platform – to power developers to create apps for users of the Quickbooks software. In addition, Intuit will place Microsoft’s cloud-based productivity apps in the Intuit App Center for small businesses.

The deal is non-exclusive but Intuit is naming Windows Azure as its preferred partner and is making the Azure software development kit available for developers creating apps on the Intuit Partner Platform.

The idea, of course, is to link Microsoft’s business applications to the financial data that’s found within Quickbooks to help businesses operate more efficiently. For months, Intuit has been working to push the cloud and open its arms to developers.

In July, Intuit launched an open-source community where users could share information to enhance the apps on Intuit’s platform. Prior to that, the company announced Federated Applications, which allows developers to use any programming language, host those apps on any cloud infrastructure and connect them to Intuit’s platform, marketing them to business customers who use Intuit products.

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