Ballmer, Benioff exchange cloudy pleasantries

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Ballmer, Benioff exchange cloudy pleasantries

Tit-for-tat exchange.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer exchanged pleasantries with Salesforce.com chief Marc Benioff during the first ever Dell World conference.

Benioff had a dig at Microsoft when talking about how Facebook had enabled revolutions, like the Arab Spring.

“People were thanking Facebook… they certainly weren’t thanking Microsoft,” the Salesforce.com CEO said.

A day later, Ballmer made a cheeky pun on Salesforce.com’s collaboration product, Chatter.

“I was pleased not to be talking on day one - a day of idle chatter in my opinion,” the Microsoft head said.

The competing vendors have been hugely aggressive in their marketing tactics over the past year, as seen at 2010’s Dreamforce event when Benioff claimed Microsoft was a monopolist.

Microsoft had offered to rebate companies up to $US200 for each user who made the switch over to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online from Salesforce.com.

Last year also saw the two reach a settlement over a patent infringement case brought by Microsoft.

Despite the friction with Benioff, Ballmer took the chance to talk about the cloud-related benefits of Windows 8 at Dell World.

Microsoft demonstrated migrating a virtual machine between hosts with Windows Server 8. 

Ballmer said that Microsoft is a changed company that has embraced the move to the cloud.

“We’re going to see a gradual migration [to the cloud] over the next 10 years. That means really getting that infrastructure right,” Ballmer said.

“We’re re-imagining not only the private cloud with [Windows] Server, but the public cloud too with Azure.”

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