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CEO Benioff Accuses Gates of Stealing a Page Out of SalesForce.com's Play Book

Marc Benioff Reminds Microsoft That "The End of Software" Has Been His Company's Mantra Since 1999

"What has Microsoft done for business on the web besides cloning a slow browser?" asked SalesForce.com CEO and Chairman Marc Benioff (pictured) this week. He then replied to his own question: "The answer: nothing."

Benioff's rant came in response to this week's "leaked" news from Microsoft that it is embracing what it calls SaaS (Software as a Service).

This transformation in the software industry goes by other names too such as On-Demand and Web 2.0, but in Benioff's view they all point to the same conclusion: "The era of the traditional software 'load, update, and upgrade' business and technology model is over."

It is time, Benioff said, for what he calls "The Business Web."

He continued:

"New Internet-based companies are showing how services will replace software for both consumers and corporations. Sand Hill Road venture capitalists are no longer funding software companies; they are only funding service providers. Exciting new companies have emerged like salesforce.com and Google who have real businesses that can challenge and win against the old guard companies, and are. Customers love these new services, and are finding tremendous success as never before."
New widely-accepted technology standards, like AJAX and others, make such new businesses possible, Benioff said. "Consumers and businesses impatient with the current pace of change at Microsoft make them necessary," he added.

"New technologies like AppExchange, Mirrorforce, and our Winter 06 release further demonstrate the next generation of the business web," Benioff continued, "and we will all continue to lead this important movement." "The internet is disintermediating the status quo," Benioff thundered, "and old models of software cost and complexity are being replaced with new models of affordability and ease of use."

His remarks came in a memo to all SalesForce.com staff dated November 9 and entitled "The Business Web."

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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