Speaking at a lunch for press and analysts today at Dreamforce, Salesforce.com’s user conference in San Francisco, Chairman and CEO of Salesforce, Marc Benioff commented on recent Microsoft initiatives that attempt to highlight differences between the companies. Referring to a recent full page ad in The Wall Street Journal and other activities by Microsoft that have been critical of his company, Benioff alluded to his keynote address tomorrow saying, “We’ll have an answer for them in the morning.”
The two companies have found themselves in increasingly overlapping markets in recent years. Microsoft, an operating system, database and productivity applications provider has brought to market CRM and ERP applications in the last decade that increasingly overlap with vendors like Salesforce, SAP and Oracle. Earlier today, Benioff introduced a new cloud computing based relational database called database.com which will be available in 2011 and is expected to compete directly with Microsoft’s spectrum of database systems in the market for independent software developers and enterprises that choose to build their own applications.
Benioff gave no indication of what he would say in his keynote but he has been known to have a sense of humor. For example, he recently poked fun at a new computer introduced by Oracle as a cloud in a box. Many Dreamforce attendees and industry watchers are expecting a similar response to Microsoft.