SAN FRANCISCO: Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt and Salesforce chief executive Marc Benioff took to the Dreamforce stage on Thursday to talk up the cloud computing model and present a united front against Microsoft.
Schmidt and Benioff managed to make negative references to Microsoft at least six times in their one hour discussion on the second day of the Salesforce customer event.
Google and Salesforce are two of Microsoft's biggest competitors. Google and Microsoft compete in the search, email, browser and operating systems markets, and Salesforce rivals the Redmond giant in CRM, enterprise collaboration and the platform-as-a-service market.
Benioff asked Schmidt how Google had protected its search and mobile business from Microsoft.
"It's hard for incumbents to move to a new model," said Schmidt, who went on to describe this model as encompassing "knowledge, resources and keeping customers happy".
"The hard design and classic platforms that Microsoft has make this model hard to work," he added.
Schmidt later referred to client-server computing and PC desktop software as outdated. "You get locked in, and its largely been wiped out by the new model," he said.
"Many people doubted the cloud computing apps model would work. Conventional wisdom believed this model of apps would not be reliable and people would not store data to the cloud, but they were all wrong," he continued.
Benioff added that Apple had been "dominating and crushing" Microsoft. He asked how former Apple chief executive Steve Jobs "differs in philosophy" from current Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer.
"Well there is definitely a difference in ability, but let's not talk about people," replied Schmidt.
"Microsoft was built around a model of control and licensing. They did not organise around the consumer but industry structure. Apple has proven that if you organise around the consumer, the enterprise will follow. Google has done the same and proved this works."
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