Benioff Calls Microsoft Irrelevant

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2011-12-01 Print this article Print


The mercurial executive was equally hard on rival Microsoft, whose Dynamics CRM product challenges. Benioff believes Microsoft hitched its wagon to Windows for far too long and noted that the company hasn't had any marked success stories in the enterprise of late. 

The company, he said, is known for being closed, which is why developers have moved to open-source development tools such as Ruby on Rails. Asked about Windows Azure, he flipped the question back, calling on the audience to name Azure's three biggest customers.

Another dart: "Microsoft also has a tablet by the way. They've got a phone. ... They've got a lot of 'em in a warehouse." The remark was a not-so-subtle shot at Microsoft's Windows Mobile/Phone market share.

He also said Microsoft Windows 8, the next-generation operating system, is a big "who cares?" and that Facebook, Google and Twitter are the companies that interest him most.

"I think they've lost they're relevancy," Benioff said of Microsoft. "I just don't think they matter anymore." He finished his anti-Microsoft rant by saying he has "no affection" for the company.

Miscellaneous Tidbits

Benioff discussed several other points during his Q&A.

  • Asked about's return on investment, Benioff called on Nucleus Research analyst Rebecca Wettemann to speak on his behalf. Wettemann revealed that 70 or so case study audits said that for every $1 spent on CRM, customers reported getting $5 and change back on their investment.
  • Benioff also noted that with the new Social Marketing Cloud, has moved to a social enterprise license, which lets businesses buy software deployments rather than just sample with per-user pricing. "Customers want to buy in bulk instead of per-user pricing," Benioff said.
  •'s task management application it acquired from ManyMoon, moved to its Heroku platform and rewrote in HTML5-is launching in a few weeks.
  • is building Connect, which leverages REST API to let Chatter connect between and other third-party services. Think Facebook Connect, but for  
  • has acquired the domain, but does not yet have a product strategy for it-at least, none that Benioff or his cohorts were inclined to divulge at Cloudforce.




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