Microsoft is finding itself with a new set of rivals for its new Windows 7 operating system.As Redmond was gearing up to push the latest version of Windows into its retail debut, big names in the cloud-computing space were offering their own criticisms of Windows 7.IBM, which recently launched its cloud-based on a combination of its Lotus software and cloud-based services with Canonical's Ubuntu Linux, said that it hopes to lure users away from Microsoft with the promise of a cheaper, more efficient package.The company said that its Client for Smart Work platform would allow users to avoid pricey software and hardware updates that older systems may require."If a company is a ‘Windows shop,’ at some point it will need to evaluate the significant costs of migrating its base to Microsoft’s next desktop,” said Bob Picciano, IBM general manager for Lotus.“Our goal is to help organisations free up desktop expenses to use in more strategic collaboration and business transformation projects.”Also getting a shot in at Microsoft was software as a service pioneer Salesforce.com. On Wednesday the company suggested that Windows 7 was an effort by Microsoft to keep pace with more sophisticated cloud based platforms."When the world's largest software company markets its flagship product as 'more stable', you know that there is something terribly wrong with the state of innovation at Microsoft," Salesforce.com vice president of corporate strategy Bruce Francis said in a statement."The truth is that the world has moved on to cloud apps for consumers and businesses, and cloud platforms for developing new services."The latest round of comments could further indicate that following the troubles of Windows Vista, competitors may be sensing blood in the water with Redmond's latest efforts. The remarks from IBM and Salesforce.com come after Apple suggested that it would be gaining users following the release of Windows 7.
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