05.10.10

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Salesforce CEO Compares Microsoft at Present to IBM in the 80s and 90s

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Servers, Virtualisation, VMware, Windows at 6:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Summary: Marc Benioff foresees a future without Microsoft (not as a relevant force anyway); his company joins VMware for a partnership

Salesforce is no fan of Microsoft and earlier this year its CEO said that Microsoft is “somewhat disgusting” (Salesforce uses a lot of GNU/Linux). We are somewhat disappointed to see Salesforce partnering with VMware, which is not only a proprietary software vendor but it’s also run by Paul Maritz from Microsoft.

Forbes is running a promotional piece about Maritz at the moment, conveniently forgetting his participation in illegal activities at Microsoft. Does the Chairman and CEO of Salesforce not realise who he’s doing business with? In a new Forbes interview, Marc Benioff says:

Recently I was with Craig Mundie, an executive at Microsoft, and I said: “Craig, how many servers and data centers do you think that our customers would need to set up if we didn’t exist as a company?” I was talking about doing just basic customer information or building complex apps. He said: “More than 100,000.”

This shows that Benioff does speak to Microsoft. He’s just not impressed by them or their products.

Separately, in a new Fortune/CNN article, Marc Benioff writes about “The end of Microsoft.” Sadly enough, he’s promoting Apple as a case study and we already know that Apple is not much better (replacing proprietary masters or substituting abusers is not the goal).

I have been waiting for something spectacular to happen any day. And it’s not the explosion of another volcano in Iceland, but it will be a global event with far reaching ramifications that will be as well known. Apple’s market capitalization is about to be worth more than Microsoft’s. That is quite a change from a decade ago.

In response to Benioff’s article, Matt Asay says that “Microsoft [is] down but by no means out” (this post is bearable, unlike other recent ones from Asay).

After all, this is the company that went from calling open-source software “un-American” to embracing it on a large scale. It’s also the company that killed Blackbird when it proved to be a dead-end and recently RIP’d its Courier tablet.

Microsoft is also the company that has dumped several iterations of its mobile Windows to experiment with two iterations of a new mobile strategy: Kin and Windows Phone 7. The two will likely converge over time, but Microsoft is placing multiple bets.

Pogson remarks on both of the above articles.

All the OEMs have a toe in the water of GNU/Linux. That is why M$ cannot raise its prices even though they have spent hundreds of millions promoting up-selling and killing the netbook. The netbook is poised to re-emerge with ARM and unencumbered by that other OS. Another reason why M$ cannot raise prices is because hundreds of millions of XP machines are still in use. Owners will undergo hundreds of dollars each to replace these machines. $150 or so for that other OS would be conspicuous compared to other options.

The monopoly is a house of cards about to crash down. It is crumbling slowly at the moment but any shift in its foundations will cause an avalanche. This is over and above the cloud-immobility issue. There is no monopoly in the cloud. People know what happened with M$ having a desktop monopoly. They will not be fooled again.

As a further sign that Microsoft is declining, there are some new Web browser statistics. Despite Microsoft’s cheating in the ballots [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7], “users explore alternatives to Internet Explorer,” says The Irish Times and eWEEK gives “10 Reasons Why Microsoft’s Internet Explorer Dominance is Ending” (“Microsoft’s IE Suffers the Death of a Thousand Cuts,” says this headline from a pro-Microsoft Web site).

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