Salesforce.com CEO: Microsoft needs 'to push the reset button on vision'

Are these two guys keeping some people from taking the Microsoft CEO spot?

Marc Benioff, the highly outspoken founder and CEO of Salesforce.com, has never been shy about offering his opinions and today in a new interview, he states that Microsoft, one of his company's rivals in the cloud data business, need to go in some new directions if it wants to prosper again.

Just after Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced his upcoming retirement, Benioff suggested that chairman Bill Gates return as an interim CEO. Indeed, in a new interview at VentureBeat. Benioff praises him, saying, "I think Bill Gates is amazing; he’s my role model." He added that since Gates left Microsoft full time "he’s happy, he’s joyful, he’s relaxed, he’s having a good time — and while he was at Microsoft, he was miserable and kind of a curmudgeon."

However, Benioff feels that Microsoft as a whole needs "to push the reset button on vision." He feels that the company has "unbelievable assets that every company in the world wishes they had — in brand, market position, technology, and monopoly — but they can’t execute it."

He also feels some new blood needs to be put into place in management and that might be hard with Microsoft's current board of directors, which will have both Gates and Ballmer as members. Benioff says, "I think it’s hard for the CEO coming in with two CEOs looking over their shoulder, so I think they’re going to have to address that." That's something that might have caused Ford CEO Alan Mulally to decide not to take the gig after being the front runner for the Microsoft CEO job for months.

Source: VentureBeat | Image via Microsoft

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Why did so many people (desktop users) upgrade from 98 to XP? Why did so many people upgrade from XP to 7? Why haven't as many people upgraded from 7 to 8/8.1?

Answer (to the latter): because they don't have to (at present). My concern is that 7 will be sufficient as an everyday OS until 2020. So if Microsoft release Windows 9, 10, and 11 over the next few years, they'll be even less popular than what 8 is now.

As I've said many times, Microsoft need to get into a strategy to force users to upgrade their hardware and software every four years, like Apple has done in the past.

Microsoft are still making a tonne of money from enterprise. Greedy.

68k said,
Why did so many people (desktop users) upgrade from 98 to XP? Why did so many people upgrade from XP to 7? Why haven't as many people upgraded from 7 to 8/8.1?

Answer (to the latter): because they don't have to (at present). My concern is that 7 will be sufficient as an everyday OS until 2020. So if Microsoft release Windows 9, 10, and 11 over the next few years, they'll be even less popular than what 8 is now.

As I've said many times, Microsoft need to get into a strategy to force users to upgrade their hardware and software every four years, like Apple has done in the past.

Microsoft are still making a tonne of money from enterprise. Greedy.


All for the start menu xD

68k said,
Why did so many people (desktop users) upgrade from 98 to XP? Why did so many people upgrade from XP to 7? Why haven't as many people upgraded from 7 to 8/8.1?

Answer (to the latter): because they don't have to (at present). My concern is that 7 will be sufficient as an everyday OS until 2020. So if Microsoft release Windows 9, 10, and 11 over the next few years, they'll be even less popular than what 8 is now.

As I've said many times, Microsoft need to get into a strategy to force users to upgrade their hardware and software every four years, like Apple has done in the past.

Microsoft are still making a tonne of money from enterprise. Greedy.

What? You wanna tell Microsoft to force updates, then call them "greedy"?

Windows 7 will see a nice life, but by 2020, it'll wholly outdated like XP is today.

Dot Matrix said,

What? You wanna tell Microsoft to force updates, then call them "greedy"?

Windows 7 will see a nice life, but by 2020, it'll wholly outdated like XP is today.

I wouldn't mind upgrading if each version were $50 or less, not $150/$400 AUD (Standard/Pro) like it is now. $400 AUD for an OS? Come on. Proof: http://www.microsoftstore.com/...ows-8.1/categoryID.64885800

Apple give Mavericks (10.9) out for free (and I wouldn't exactly call it a minor update compared to 10.6.8).

68k said,
I wouldn't mind upgrading if each version were $50 or less, not $150/$400 AUD (Standard/Pro) like it is now. $400 AUD for an OS? Come on. Proof: http://www.microsoftstore.com/...ows-8.1/categoryID.64885800

Apple give Mavericks (10.9) out for free (and I wouldn't exactly call it a minor update compared to 10.6.8).


You pay a fortune to buy a Mac where a PC from most OEMs of the same spec costs less. Not to mention your maintenance and accessories like £35 for a mini display port to HDMI converter. In comparison Microsoft gave away Windows 8.1 for free to 8.0 owners and it is not exactly a minor upgrade either. So lets double-check who came up with the free OS upgrades before we call it an Apple trend, again.

Riva said,
You pay a fortune to buy a Mac where a PC from most OEMs of the same spec costs less. Not to mention your maintenance and accessories like £35 for a mini display port to HDMI converter.
I prefer paying more and getting the ability to run two (or three) OSs. All Apple hardware is finally tuned - my Mac Mini from 2008 is still speedy, compared to my Dell laptop with "better" specs from the same year. I'm not a Mac. I'm not a PC. I'm an enthusiast ("Mac/PC/Linux"). People ask me questions about all platforms all the time. It would be stupid of me to say "sorry, I hate that platform so I'm not going to help". I know Windows is better in many ways, but Mac is better in certain areas also.

Riva said,
In comparison Microsoft gave away Windows 8.1 for free to 8.0 owners and it is not exactly a minor upgrade either. So lets double-check who came up with the free OS upgrades before we call it an Apple trend, again.
I run Windows 7. I don't want to pay more than $50 AUD to upgrade to Windows 8. Fact. 8.1 is a minor but much needed upgrade, comparable to upgrading from Lion to Mountain Lion.

I actually think Microsoft is the only company with a vision right now. Perhaps you might want to ask Google to hit reset on their vision for their chromebooks and android tablets? Or even Apple's stagnating OSX market share? OSX could do with a new vision, all Apple has been doing is piling on new features.

Microsoft is doing an excellent job.

Windows 7 the best version of Windows ever! Office 2010 is a nice improvement that is visually appealing and has decent performance. Windows Phone is the best mobile OS out there which has features not in iOS and Android. Xboxone as a platform is moving ahead and innovating ahead of the PS4 which has a little better hardware but lacks many features and its OS is waay behind. IE is usable again and has nice multimedia and font rendering.

The only thing MS screwed up is the gui on Windows 8 which was rushed and assumed we all would be using surfaces and would dump our non touch systems by now. Metro isn't bad. Just not implemented.

Microsoft used to be bottom quality garbage over a decade ago. They have gotten their act together but everyone just obsesses on the silly start button and say MS is all over etc.

I think it's funny that his company only does, revenue-wise, slightly above twice as well in the only market area they compete in (Dynamics CRM revenue 1.13B USD, Salesforce.com 2.5B USD last year) - yet Microsoft has *15 or 16* different billion dollar + businesses, and Salesforce.com has just one. And to the comments about people switching to Salesforce.com and then coming back to Dynamics? Yes, I've seen that too, usually within about a year or so.

I always find it amusing that the companies and their representatives who are most vocal about Microsoft doing poorly, or needing to change, et. al. seem to always be in direct competition with some Microsoft product that's encroached on their revenue streams.

Microsoft needs to definitely press that reset button for Windows 8. However, I believe their other products are decent enough.

Lets look at the financials, yes Microsoft is prospering.

Lets look at what is happening with Windows and Windows Phone for example, Microsoft is losing mindshare. Go on, keep focusing on the financials, everything will be fine at Microsoft, there is absolutely nothing to be concerned about.

derekaw said,
Lets look at what is happening with Windows and Windows Phone for example, Microsoft is losing mindshare.

Not to mention a $1b writedown on Surface RT - Microsoft's answer to the OEMs who didn't know how to innovate!

derekaw said,
Lets look at the financials, yes Microsoft is prospering.

Lets look at what is happening with Windows and Windows Phone for example, Microsoft is losing mindshare. Go on, keep focusing on the financials, everything will be fine at Microsoft, there is absolutely nothing to be concerned about.

Actually, Windows phone is winning mindshare as it is clearly on a growth path. Windows on the other hand is flat. Of course Windows isn't Microsoft's cash cow by a long shot, other products have overtaken it. Some of these products make it that Microsoft is well positioned for the future.

And of course when prospering is concerned, one cannot ignore the financial figures...

Not sure what this guy is on about, but looking at the actual financial results, Microsoft has never performed better than the last few years.

The time of prospering is actually the recent few years, not the time the company was headed by Bill Gates.

Financial figures don't lie, yet many people repeat the Microsoft is doomed bullocks, or Microsoft doesn't perform bullocks. Quite amazing people can say this, and still be taken seriously.

MS is currently the ONLY tech company doing anything new and interesting right now on a large scale.

Apple and Samsung are simply pumping out yearly models of the same damn thing we have seen for half a decade and making their ROW OF ICONS OS look more like metro.

Sorry I want MS to keep doing what they have been doing lately.

This is interesting as everyone sees Microsoft from only one angle when there are so many which makes them more profitable. I totally agree with you though.

Really? Any of our Dynamics CRM customer who were sold the Salesforce dream product came back after 6-9 months begging. Salesforce has great salespeople but they promise more than they can deliver.

It is always great to see MS' enemies / competitors (you know the ones who have a vested interest in MS failing) giving advice to MS' shareholders and community. Yes, MS is now doing poorly, as it is the most profitable tech company over the last 10 years.

http://www.whatmobile.net/2013...tech-company-last-10-years/

All of this is just MS enemies trying to spin MS as a failure, in order that investors push out the two guys, who over the history of the company, have been instrumental to the company's success.

The guys can't be far from truth. Not saying Microsoft isn't innovating, but the ammount of negative press they have received over their products cannot be ignored. Both Xbox One and Windows 8 were released to massive criticism. And while WP is growing, it's doing so mostly in the lower end market.

stevan said,
The guys can't be far from truth. Not saying Microsoft isn't innovating, but the ammount of negative press they have received over their products cannot be ignored. Both Xbox One and Windows 8 were released to massive criticism. And while WP is growing, it's doing so mostly in the lower end market.

The only criticism I see over the xboxone is from PS fanbois. They think it is 2006 still and need to feel good about their choice to spend lots of money. To say it is sooo slow when it is 97% the same hardware is ludicrous!

Arstechnica.com reviewed both. XBoxOne gets high marks for being a solid modern competitor with a real OS that multitasks, does Skype, voice commands, video recording, Connectx, runs Windows Phone apps, and on and on. PS4 OS is really an updated version of its PS/3. I guess to say the gamers familiar with Sony won't care but MS is innovating and its system is more of a media center rather than just for playing games.

It is currently ranked the most innovative company in America by Forbes magazine,[4] as well as number 19 in Fortune magazine's 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2013.

Basically, Salesforce.com doesn't like the idea of Microsoft competing with it (CRM Dynamics, to be precise). Please - it's not Microsoft's fault that Salesforce.com's product is static, while CRM Dynamics is refusing to stand still. Microsoft is pushing the envelope in their entire B2B (and even infrastructure) lineup because they have to - remaining static gets you nothing.

stevan said,
Salesforce was voted the most innovative company in the US by several reputable magazines.

So was Enron.

In fact, there's a well-known stock market signal called the Magazine Cover Curse.

Sounds like someone is trying to make himself look important and as if he is knows how to "fix" Microsoft. Now there happens to be a high profile CEO position available. Is he trying to get the job?

He's sort of right about the immense asset baggage. About at this time Microsoft should have become supreme rulers of all creatures on Earth, but for some reason they have not.

"However, Benioff feels that Microsoft as a whole needs "to push the reset button on vision."

That's a pure conjecture. This guy is clueless.

Microsoft will always remain a B2B company first and foremost, the market where it excels and where no other company can rival it, and then a B2C (in contrast to our "innovative" rival Apple who are focused on B2C).

Agreed, the profit Microsoft makes in just a quarter could buy his company 100 times over.

Its obvious he is just bad mouthing because MS competing with him and he doesn't like it. I don't know why Larry Ellison doesn't buy his stupid company then throw it away.

I'm guessing this Salesforce clown's idea of pushing the reset button on vision revolves around stop competing with Salesforce and taking away our customers. What a joke.

I bet this guy is ****ed that he wasn't even considered for the CEO job; better pray that Satya Nadella doesn't get the job.

spenser.d said,
Lost me at implying Microsoft isn't prospering.

I Lost you at implying Microsoft is prospering. sure they making profit but they lost a lot and lot of revenue

fredrichman said,

I Lost you at implying Microsoft is prospering. sure they making profit but they lost a lot and lot of revenue

No they haven't. What world are you living in?