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Benioff Announces Database.com, Issues Oracle Rejoinder

Salesforce.com's CEO dismissed the "old status quo players" who spread fear and doubt about the cloud at the Dreamforce user group event in San Francisco.
Soon, Benioff said, any language will be able to run there. Salesforce’s cloud infrastructure has, thus far, been limited to Salesforce application code and customizations or original code done in a proprietary language it makes available there, Apex. Broadening the Force.com infrastructure to accommodate all languages is likely to broaden its appeal, but Benioff didn’t specify how PHP, Microsoft’s C# or other languages were going to be accommodated.

In a demonstration that was a candidate for a stunt that nearly went wrong, Benioff walked out into the audience to say cloud computing suited the needs of mobile users, who get great value from their portable devices.

First he extracted and handed off an iPhone to an aisle attendee, then fished out a BlackBerry, saying he wouldn’t be without it for its ability to keep him connected to the office. After handing it off, he pulled out a third phone, drawing laughs, and saying there was a technical session for those suffering from attention deficit disorder from carrying too many digital devices. He handed off five handsets in all, then appeared to be struggling with the back of his pants, while still describing the benefits of going mobile.

Benioff had walked far enough into the audience that the press was now behind him, treated to the view of his hand thrust down the back of his pants. In a moment, it emerged with an iPad, to the delight of the crowd. There had been a delay, but the master showman had pulled it off.

Tomorrow afternoon, another large, well-known speaker, will address the user conference, former President Bill Clinton.

During the address, competitors outside the Moscone hall resorted to attention-getting tricks. Two representatives of Microsoft on Segways handed out “Don’t Get Forced” cards promising a free trial of Microsoft’s Dynamics CRM online application. Microsoft earlier offered a $200 rebate per user for any migration from Salesforce.

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