SAN FRANCISCO — I had to step out of the session with Salesforce.com Chief Executive Marc Benioff for to do a spot on KOMO radio, but when I came back in Benioff was just getting rolling with a Microsoft rant. Salesforce.com competes with Microsoft’s business software and in cloud computing.
First on mobile: “In the world of mobile, which is only behind social” in importance, Benioff said, “They are nowhere.”
He was talking on stage with Goldman Sachs analyst Sarah Friar about Chatter, Salesforce.com’s new enterprise collaboration network that will compete with Microsoft’s Sharepoint. Chatter, now in beta testing, is like a Facebook network for business people.
Benioff said Microsoft was upset when it was No. 2 behind BlackBerry and it was upset when it was No. 3 behind Apple. Now how does it feel when it’s 10th? he asked.
Here’s a reality check on his numbers: According to research firm IDC, the rankings for mobile operating system shipments in 2009 were: 1. BlackBerry (19.6%), 2. Apple iPhone (14.4%), 3. Microsoft Windows Mobile (10.7%), 4. Google Android (3.5%).
“They get so committed to their gestalt, which is so bizarre, because they’re so all about Windows to the point that they’re blinded by it,” Benioff said. “I really am surprised and somewhat disgusted by their desire to maintain their grip on the industry with Windows.”
Friar followed that with a joke: “How do you really feel?”
Benioff then made fun of SAP, although he also praised the enterprise software company for its “high value, high trust” relationships with customers. “SAP is the anti-cloud,” he said. “They’re like, ‘Oh, the cloud, it does not exist,’ ” he said, mimicking a Euro accent.
Next up, IBM. “If you’re not changing and rapidly evolving, you basically get transformed into some big services company like IBM,” he said. “That’s their story: Owned the industry, now it’s a services company.”
And finally, Oracle, which was tempered with some backhanded respect. Benioff said Oracle’s “killer app” is acquisitions.”You have to give Larry credit for the ability to ingest companies and spit out their numbers,” he said. “We’re fundamentally impressed” by that ability.
Benioff said of Salesforce.com, “Our innovation is innovation.”
Here is an archive of the webcast.
(Photo of Marc Benioff: Salesforce.com)