Salesforce and Microsoft Trade Blows at Dell World Conference

via Stuart Kennedy, The Australian

MICROSOFT and Salesforce swatted each other around at the inaugural Dell World conference in Austin Texas last week in between sales pitches largely devoid of anything new.

The first blow came from Salesforce chief Marc Benioff, a veteran Microsoft baiter who during a lively, tent evangelist style presentation on Thursday evening took time out to mock the big M.
Mr. Benioff came off the stage and walked among the punters at the Austin Convention Centre as he talked up the wonders of cloud computing and social networking and alluded to their role in bringing on the Arab spring.

Pictures of protesters holding up signs thanking Facebook formed a backdrop to part of Mr. Benioff’s speech.

"People were thanking Facebook," he said. "They certainly weren’t thanking Microsoft."
Mr. Benioff’s speech included a hard sell of the company’s Chatter social networking application for business and much boasting of how Salesforce had rated much larger than Oracle on social networking sites during the Oracle Openworld conference earlier this month.

Mr. Benioff helped engineer a storm of social media angst when he tweeted that Oracle had cancelled his presentation at the Openworld event and that he was moving his appearance to another venue.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer kicked off the Dell World proceedings the morning after Mr. Benioff’s speech and hit back at the Salesforce chief by saying how glad he was to be presenting on day two of the conference along with Intel boss Paul Otellini and not with Mr. Benioff on day one.

"I was pleased not to be speaking on day one – a day of idle chatter in my opinion," said Mr. Ballmer, poking fun at Salesforce’s enterprise market social networking application.

That said, Mr. Ballmer launched into a preview of his firm’s next, tablet friendly Windows 8 operating system but did not offer when it would be available for beta testing, or when it would launch as a full blown product.

Mr. Ballmer did confirm that Microsoft had closed off its $US8.5 billion Skype acquisition on Thursday evening but gave no further update on the company’s plans for the internet communications outfit.

 

 

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