Why Marc Benioff is TOTALLY wrong about Windows 8

This was too easy.

To recap:

Marc Benioff the CEO of Salesforce.com predicted that Windows 8 would be the beginning of the end of Microsoft’s dominance as an Operating System.

His quotes:

Windows 8 is a catalyst or “gambit” for CIOs, forcing them to say “am I going to Windows 8, or am I going to something else,”

Years ago, “a common phrase was, ‘the Windows 7 upgrade cycle,’” Benioff added. “You’re not going to hear about the Windows 8 upgrade cycle. I’m not saying that as a big, aggressive statement against Microsoft, that’s just the reality of today’s environment.”

Windows has become “irrelevant,” being displaced by next-generation LTE wireless networks that will “disintermediate” the need for WANs and LANs, along with “all of these great services that are available right off the cloud.”

He also provided anecdotal evidence based on a global CIO he recently spoke to.

“Her goal is to get rid of all of the PCs,” Benioff said. “She doesn’t see a demand curve from users for PCs.” Instead, the CIO is hoping to move to a BYOD (bring-your-own-device) approach, Benioff said. Next-generation mobile devices have “forced CIOs to make changes already,” he added.

OK, so this is a typical big vision statement from someone who has taken a dream and built it into a very dominant company.

I have a lot of respect for Mr. Benioff and what he has done with Salesforce.com but he is simply flat wrong here.

In addition, his statements are stunningly superficial and lack substance.

Let’s start here:

Windows 8 is a catalyst or “gambit” for CIOs, forcing them to say “am I going to Windows 8, or am I going to something else,”

First of all, Windows 8 is more of a beginning for Microsoft.

CIO’s are going to take their time evaluating this Operating System and ironically, with the success of Windows 7 will feel absolutely no pressure to rush.

Windows 8 is not FORCING anyone to do anything.

Windows Vista showed just how effective Microsoft could be at forcing corporate upgrades when faced with pushback – not very effective.

In addition, Tami Reller (Microsoft’s chief financial officer and chief marketing officer) stressed that Microsoft is pretty chill about the move to Windows 8. Her phrase “Windows 7 today, Windows 8 tomorrow”.

You may not believe it, you may call it naive but she’s on the record saying it.

Secondly, he says, CIO’s will say “am I going to something else”.

Umm, what would that “something else” be for a CIO who had a 10,000, 20,000 or 100,000 person company?

Would they get rid of XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7 and go to Linux? – No.

Would they go all Apple? – Fantasy Island.

What is this something else that CIO’s would go to?

Oh yeah, the mystical something else they have been looking for for 20+ years.

The utopian cloud OS that can fix all the problems of the workforce and free the enterprise from Microsoft’s dominance.

Here’s the problem: If you look objectively, the closest OS to achieve that Utopian goal is actually…well, Windows 8.

Performance, cheaper, Cloud Profiles, multiple development languages, contracts, corporate app store, UEFI, intune, mobile device support, tablets, server, BING integration, Skydrive, social media integration, smart-phone integration and on and on and on..

He says:

Windows has become “irrelevant,” being displaced by next-generation LTE wireless networks that will “disintermediate” the need for WANs and LANs, along with “all of these great services that are available right off the cloud.”

pissed off

pissed off

I am so sick of the executives who talk about Windows becoming irrelevant because of X,Y and Z. Seriously guys, this line is becoming OLD and TIRED.

They always talk about how Windows will be replaced but they never specifically talk about who and what will replace it.

Who or what is the alternative? Salesforce?

Once again ironically when we look at who is currently providing a CRAP LOAD of corporate cloud services at the OS level – it’s Microsoft (with Azure, SkyDrive and more).

Finally He provided “anecdotal evidence” based on a global CIO he recently spoke to:

“Her goal is to get rid of all of the PCs,” Benioff said. “She doesn’t see a demand curve from users for PCs.” Instead, the CIO is hoping to move to a BYOD (bring-your-own-device) approach, Benioff said. Next-generation mobile devices have “forced CIOs to make changes already,” he added.

*SIGH* Which company is positioning itself to bring the enterprise solutions for BYOD at both the OS and hardware levels?

Microsoft and how? Windows 8.

It’s just stunning how much nonsense he spouted in this article and how ironically, he continually seems to be describing the need for Windows 8.

You guys know that I call Microsoft out on a lot of their BS and (ironically), I’m by no means a Microsoft fan-boy.

In this case though, it just seems that Mr. Benioff needs to talk about material he’s more familiar with.

Salesforce is a great company and he’s good at what he does. In this case though, he has no idea what the hell he’s talking about.

Your turn, use the comments below and let me know what you think.

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