Feeds

Salesforce extends 'sympathy' to Microsoft on Office launch

Cloud vendor goes on elephant crusade

Build a business case: developing custom apps

A senior EMEA director at Salesforce.com has claimed Microsoft Office "sucks productivity" just as the software giant gears up for the launch of its latest version this afternoon.

Tim Barker declared that Salesforce has no intention of moving into the productivity suite crowd currently occupied by Microsoft.

Barker, who is the firm’s product marketing boss for Europe, the Middle East and Asia, told The Register this morning that he wanted to offer his “sympathy” to Microsoft for its efforts to move more prominently into the cloud computing space.

“Office sucks productivity out of people,” he claimed, and pointed out that the lack of collaboration in the desktop version of Microsoft’s flagship software was bad for business in today’s Web2.0rrhea-obsessed world.

Barker opined that Microsoft had arrived late on the scene with its Office Web Apps, which the vendor will begin pumping out to businesses today.

He added that the company had also changed its tune on cloud computing by quietly moving away from talking up its software+services strategy, to what MS boss Steve Ballmer has recently described as “three screens and a cloud”.

According to Barker, that shift is acknowledgment by the software giant that cloud computing is where the party’s at for the tech industry, which he said was “a good thing” for everyone else, but possibly less so for Microsoft whose customers might accuse the company of abandoning its roots in an effort to compete with Google.

At the same time, Barker said Salesforce.com have no intention, at least for now, of pushing out its own business productivity suite to rival Office 2010.

The cloud vendor recently tied up an important deal with VMware offering a platform for Java developers to deploy their applications to the cloud without needing to buy or provision their own software or servers. All of which made us wonder if some form of collaboration was in the offing with VMWare’s recently acquired Zimbra tech, which offers an MS Office alternative to customers.

“We’re not looking at that space at all right now,” said Barker, who added that Salesforce.com had a tight relationship with Google Apps.

Instead, the Marc Benioff-run outfit is setting its sights on Chatter, which is a bit like Facebook for the business set and includes elements of social networking with worker profiles, status updates as well as connecting with other networks, and links to Salesforce.com products and Google docs, explained Barker.

Which sounds a bit like an outsourced intranet to us. Funnily enough, Barker likened Microsoft's Office Apps to an intranet-like product as well.

He argued that the success of Facebook and indeed Gmail was due in no small part to giving consumers free technology to “collaborate” with each other in the cloud. Microsoft, on the other hand, has missed a trick, turned up late and is now hoping to cash in from organisations that want to bring the Facebook model into business apps.

Of course, Microsoft would argue that Hotmail - its free email service - has been around for donkey's years serving up messages to its millions of users across the globe from what is very much a cloud-based model.

Barker wondered if Redmond might just be spreading itself a little too thinly with its latest sky-gazing ambitions, but MS could yet gatecrash the Google-Salesforce.com love-in.

Elephant in the room pod

Elsewhere on planet Salesforce.com, the do-good wing of the company - Salesforce.com Foundation - has been plugging an online public petition to convince governments to support Asian elephant conservation.

Saleforce.com elephant

Yes, that is Rula Lenska hanging out on the Eye with a pretend elephant

The firm, in partnership with the Elephant Parade London, plonked a life-sized baby pachyderm sculpture inside a London Eye pod this morning to promote the cause.

This way to show your support, but please don't all stampede at once. ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.