I'm curious to see hear what they'll have to say. Google has always been a bit ambiguous about selling software to businesses, which is what Salesforce does. Adworks, Adsense and search are the crown jewels; its Google Apps feel more like an experiment.
But there's been a decent level of interest in its software. Google project manager Rajen Sheth recently told me that Google Apps, which went beta last August and was officially announced in February, has about 150,000 subscribers. About 100,000 of those are small businesses, and the remainder a mix of organizations, schools and universities, and large businesses. Proctor & Gamble and General Electric are among the big companies testing Google Apps, he said. Big companies are using a mix in some cases: the free, ad-supported version for some users, and the $50-a-year subscription version, with the ability to turn the ads off, for other users.
Then you have Salesforce, which under the direction of a verbose and media-savvy Benioff, has managed to make SaaS mean something more than what you get from your kindergartener at the dinner table. So you've got Google offering very cheap or free online productivity software, and Salesforce selling monthly subscriptions to online business software, and both companies trying to build developer ecosystems around their software platforms. At Salesforce's conference last week, it previewed an ability to connect its APIs to Google's to "bidirectionally update Google spreadsheets," according to a report written by First Albany analyst Mark Murphy.
What could these kids be up to? Stay tuned.