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Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff Mocks Microsoft's Surface

Never one to miss an opportunity to taunt his rivals, Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff gave his unbridled assessment of Microsoft's struggling Surface: The alternatives are superior.

"The reason why they're not accelerating growth is for one simple reason," Benioff told The New York Times, in an article over the weekend breaking down Microsoft's quest to keep Windows relevant in the tablet era. "There's a better technology."

I shrugged it off as typical Benioff bravado as he often takes swipes at Microsoft, which besides Oracle and SAP is perhaps Salesforce.com's largest competitor. Not only does Microsoft pose a formidable threat to Salesforce.com in the market Benioff's company dominates -- CRM -- but Microsoft and Salesforce are looking to draw customers and developers to their competing cloud platforms -- Force.com and Windows Azure respectively.

Salesforce.com officials coincidently put substance behind Benioff's remark to The Times today with the release of its latest tooling for developers. An upgrade to its Salesforce Platform Mobile Services, launched back in April, provides extended support for those building native iOS and Android apps. The new release even targets Microsoft C# and .NET developers with the included Xamarin Mobile Pack, which includes the Mono framework, as one of the new packs added to Salesforce Mobile Services.

As Adam Seligman, Salesforce.com's vice president of developer relations outlined the new additions to its new mobile offering and specifically explained the addition of the Xamarin pack, I asked if he sees adding native support for the new Windows runtime and Microsoft's tile-based app model in Windows 8, Windows RT and Windows Phone. "We have seen no demand for Windows RT," Seligman explained. "What we are doing for these cross platform devices is supporting regular native Web with HTML 5."

While he wouldn't say whether he shares Benioff's opinion that the Surface is inferior, I asked Seligman if ultimately supporting the new Windows runtime is on Salesforce.com's agenda. "Our mobile SDK today supports Android and iOS and if other platforms get some share we'll definitely look at supporting them too."

Many organizations use Salesforce.com's CRM and other SaaS offerings. If using Salesforce.com on Windows 8/RT and Windows Phone is confined to HTML 5 and JavaScript, will that limit the appeal of Surfaces and other Windows-based mobile devices? Share your opinion or drop me a line at jschwartz@1105media.com.

 

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 07/30/2013 at 1:15 PM


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