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Microsoft's Turner Attacks Google, Salesforce, Others

A top Microsoft executive rallied the partner troops on Day 3 at the 2011 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference by chiding the competition.

Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner delivered critiques of Google, Salesforce.com, Oracle, VMware and Apple. It's now one of the things to expect at every Microsoft partner event, along with a high-energy Steve Ballmer keyonte to kick things off.

Microsoft played up Turner's combativeness this year, with Microsoft global channel chief Jon Roskill and others referring to the COO as Microsoft's "Chief Compete Officer." Turner did his part on Wednesday, and partners in the Staples Center in Los Angeles seemed to enjoy it. During the keynote, Jamison West, CEO of Arterian, tweeted, "Kevin Turner has a career in comedy if Microsoft doesn't work out."

Here are some of the Turner-isms from this year:

Google

  • "Office 365, ladies and gentlemen, is nothing but a Google butt-kicker, that's all it is."

  • "Just look at some of these customers that we've rescued from Google," Turner said in reference to a slide on the big screen. "These are win-backs, customers who made a mistake, a very innocent mistake, and we went in there and said, we're here to help with our partners, and we took these customers and we moved these customers straightaway -- straightaway."

  • "Hey, the whole 50 bucks per year, per user is just the tip of the iceberg as it relates to what customers are getting charged [by Google] and what they have to do to try to prop up that inferior messaging system and set of productivity applications."

  • "Google is helping us with some of their actions, and I'm encouraged to remind you all this is a company that has a mission statement that they have to remind themselves not to do evil, right?"

Salesforce.com

  • "Now we've got this humongous pacifier to stick in the mouth of Marc Benioff called Dynamics CRM Online."

  • "When you think about Salesforce, the best thing I can tell you is don't let the customers get forced into paying these exorbitant prices and hidden charges for a solution that doesn't quite meet their business needs."

Oracle

  • "To really talk to a customer about whether they should bet on Oracle, let's just take a look at the cast of characters and you make the call," Turner said displaying photos of Oracle Chairman and CEO Larry Ellison, President Mark Hurd and President/CFO Safra Catz to huge laughter. "I don't even know what to say."

  • "Their lack of focus on customer service, taking care of customers and doing the right thing by customers is catching up with them."

  • "There are no happy Siebel customers in the world, you all know that."

VMware

  • "We've made some tremendous progress versus VMware, probably more than any other competitor this past year. And the way we've been able to do that is we've caught VMware flatfooted, because they're fighting the economics of the cloud. ... The more VMs you have, the more our savings goes up, because at Microsoft, anything beyond six VMs is free."

Apple

  • Showing a picture of an Apple Authorized Reseller in Latin America selling Windows 7 on Apple hardware: "Now, that should tell all of you a lot about the importance of having a great OS. Even the Apple franchise stores think so."

Cisco

  • "Think about all the years that Cisco's been milking those high margins, 75, 85 percent margins on that unified communications product. Where do we stack in that? There's all kinds of business value to be added by our Microsoft partner group with Lync."

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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