"The enemy of my enemy is my friend." Or is it "the enemy of my friend is my enemy"? The Learned Lynx was having a hard time sorting out the significance of all the alliances that were shifted, stressed, strained and dinged in the latest maneuvers among Salesforce.com, Google and Microsoft.
Some analysts continue to scratch their heads over the application mashup between Salesforce.com and Google Apps. Gartner analyst Tom Austin pondered: Why did Salesforce.com really do this deal with Google?
See, Salesforce.com guns for enterprise users with its CRM products. Google guns for anyone who will take its apps, which Austin told eWEEK does not include a lot of big businesses, since Google doesn't provide those coveted service-level agreements.
"Google Apps are not selling to enterprises. Not yet, anyway," Austin said. "Why would they when a lot of users are exploiting the free Google Apps as supplements to everything else they have? Why pay when you can get it for free? Using -for free' products and services means no one has to sign off on the expense. And there is no political exposure for the decision maker. If Google Apps ultimately succeed in a big way, why, these people are heroes! If it fails, no one knows anything. How simple is that?"
He added that the path of least resistance for Google is to pervade as much of the enterprise as they can in absolute stealth mode.
So, the Quizzical Katt wondered: Will Salesforce.com chuck away its integration with Microsoft Outlook over this?
Unlikely, Austin said. "This doesn't feel like an attack on anyone else," he added. "The old -the-enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend' strategy doesn't seem to suffice as an explanation. So I chalk it up to cloud PR with some unspecified, potential long-term benefits."
Then the Sagacious Gato turned his thoughts to what these cloud-computing developments mean for Microsoft, as he reviewed his notes from the recent Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Las Vegas.
Microsoft takes a beating from the press, pundits and even Google for its Windows Live platform, which is essentially SAAS (software as a service) built on top of Microsoft's core desktop capabilities. Microsoft views this as its entr??Â«e into cloud computing, where powers such as Google and Salesforce.com are well ahead. But Gartner's David Mitchell Smith told Spencer during a meeting at the Gartner confab that Live is, well, alive and well, calling the notion that Microsoft doesn't get the Web "way too harsh."
So, why does Microsoft get beaten up so much over Live? Smith said the company's well-documented struggles to get Vista out the door, which contributed to some executive turnover, could have gone toward building momentum for Live.
To that end, Smith also cautioned the high-tech world against proclaiming "the cloud is king," as he believes there is plenty of room for traditional packaged apps for the foreseeable future.