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back to article Salesforce CEO Benioff: Win 8 is 'the end of Windows'

The official launch of Windows 8 is only a week away, but Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff won't be making the upgrade, and he doesn't think most enterprise CIOs will, either. "Windows is irrelevant," Benioff said, speaking at a press Q&A session at Salesforce's Cloudforce event in New York on Friday. Benioff explained that the …

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FAIL

most havn't even gone to win 7 yet

why would they do to win8 when they havn't even used windows 7 yet.

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Meh

For someone who lives in a big city

Oh the privilege he has, HIS LTE is so good that he doesn't bother with wireless.

He fails to see one thing, not all of us have decent Internet coverage, not all of us have LTE and not all of us live somewhere with good mobile coverage, let alone wireless coverage that can be readily accessed.

Maybe he is not as clever as he thinks he is.

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Anonymous Coward

Salesmen

Full of hot air, no wonder there are so many clouds.

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Re: For someone who lives in a big city

"Maybe he is not as clever as he thinks he is."

Nor as informed. He makes the argument that Win8 is "irrelevant" because people are more focused on BYOD. And then ignores that Win8 has significantly more features and support for BYOD than Win7 did. BYOD in the enterprise is one of the design goals of Win8.

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Facepalm

Re: For someone who lives in a big city

I bet all these very influential folks have never actually had to try to support BYOD at the sharp end either.

I see a lot of folks 'own devices' and I wouldn't touch a lot of them without antibac first let alone let them hook to any network/service of mine.

All bloody talk these people.

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FAIL

Re: For someone who lives in a big city

Because byod works so well in environments that are locked down, and or environments that don't have extensive edge wireless or cutting edge fibre. Sure cutting edge city boys might go 100pc cloud but the majority of real world companies have little choice.

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Headmaster

@LarsG Re: "Oh the privilege he has" His privilege also consists of being able to afford.......

.......using his phone in that way. For millions upon millions of ordinary punters the costs of total dependency on the "per meg" model of payment for their broadband connection would be prohibitive regardless of how good their plan might be since none are truly "unlimited". Wifi in the US or in the UK for that matter (at home, in the office or at their local Starbucks) is a must for many and is likely to remain so for a long time to come. Apart from anything else the infrastructure costs of building out the coverage such that it was technically feasible to go totally "mobile broadband" are huge and the poor bloody punter would be the one meeting the end-point bills. He gives every impression of being the US analogue of a "toff" - the fact that he finds his phone bill painless must of course mean that everyone else does as well.

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Devil

Re: For someone who lives in a big city

That is not everything he fails to see.

If Microsoft did not ship regular upgrades to its OS, the PC OEMs would have arranged contractually (for a pot of gold) for it to do so. So he _WILL_ be buy a new windows 8 machine at some point for the simple reason that he will have no choice on the matter. The hardware OEMs will make sure to that.

The only way his future may come true will be if Google stops f***ing around with ChromBooks and ships "Android for PC".

The other possible alternatives (Apple and Linux) are not likely to kill Windows to a point where the future will be bright and Cloudy. Apple continues to market itself as a premium product and will always be out of reach for a large segment of the userbase. Linux will probably continue to be ~ <5% of the userbase - mostly the technically literate and technically inclined. This leaves a nice gaping market void where Windows will continue to reside unless something like Android for PC kicks it out.

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Pint

Re: For someone who lives in a big city

He also fails to understand that for many the cost of LTE -- or any cellular communications technology -- is significant. For most of us, WiFi is the affordable connection option we turn on when browsing or downloading, LTE is acceptable only for low-bandwidth applications or occasionally when WiFi is not available.

It's OK for the CEO of Salesforce to use LTE for everything, but most of us live in the real world.

Beer, because I have better things to spend my money on!

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Re: For someone who lives in a big city

> Linux will probably continue to be ~ <5% of the userbase ... Windows ... unless something like Android for PC kicks it out.

Android _IS_ Linux. Linux is the kernel of the OS for both Android and the distros of GNU/Linux (and of lots of embedded devices and TVs).

> The hardware OEMs will make sure to that.

I am sure that the hardware OEMs would like to sell many different things, particularly ones that make a profit. Unfortunately they have contracts with Microsoft that prevent them doing that while still retaining their 'loyalty discounts'. Retailers are also driven by profitability. When they sell a PC with Windows they can also sell many profitable add ons with software such as Office, anti-virus, games and such. In the past they could also rely on repeat business as the Windows machines choked up and became slower until the user decided it needed replacement with a new one (after only 2 or 3 years - though reinstalling would probably make it usable again).

Now machines with XP or 7 are powerful enough and Windows is reliable enough that replacement is no longer required. SmartTVs, smartphones and iPads are resulting in less usage of the desktop, plus spending money on those reduces the budget available to buy a replacement, or additional, PC.

With Microsoft taking the business away from OEMs and retailers with the app store, Surface and MS stores, there may be less incentive for the OEMs and retailers to stick with a Windows only policy. They may turn to Android, ChromeOS, FirefoxOS, or WebOS to make up for revenue lost to MS, or just lost due to reduction in PC sales.

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Re: For someone who lives in a big city

Well Linux is versatile. Android has very little to do with the Linux you would want to have on your desktop. It's dumbed and locked down, and only uses Linux as a kernel for it's own Java-based system.

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Alert

Re: Salesmen

Dangerous clouds too. He's adding so much to the San Francisco Smug cloud that it must not be allowed to merge with the cloud from George Clooney's Oscar acceptance speech, at all costs!

/southpark

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Re: For someone who lives in a big city

"Well Linux is versatile. Android has very little to do with the Linux you would want to have on your desktop. It's dumbed and locked down, and only uses Linux as a kernel for it's own Java-based system."

However, it's influence is so great now that Android extensions are now being back-ported into the kernel.

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Childcatcher

Re: For someone who lives in a big city

A reasonable post. The Salesforce twerp summarily dismisses legacy applications, the OEM arrangement of which you speak. Price (As you say Apple is at a premium, ie twice the price for the same thing).

Google have faffed with Chromebook, but then that just could be symptomatic of the fact that it isn't as easy to do (build an OS) as even the bearded+sandled Linux lobby would have you think.

To suggest Windows is dead is stupid at best. Although I have had dinner with another CEO of one of the largest IT security companies in the world who said the same thing. I explained to some CIOs at the same dinner that a Windows 8 tablet is like their iPad, except you could do work on one - and they all said that's what they wanted. Its a mixed up crazy world :)

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Re: Salesmen

No doubt.

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Re: For someone who lives in a big city

You've hit the nail on the head. Even with an external keyboard I can't get any real "work" done on my iPad. I use it as an entertainment device, to play games, read books, watch TV & movies, listen to music & audiobooks... and it's great for that. But when I have to create a financial model in Excel or a presentation in PowerPoint I need a real PC.

Perhaps when CPU performance and memory on tablets are on par with laptops you could conceivably use them as a laptop replacement by connecting a keyboard, mouse and external monitor but today that's not realistic.

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Anonymous Coward

Lemme Guess. We'll all be using Chromebooks

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WTF?

How?

How does one disintermediate the need for something? What does disintermediate even mean?

mybrainisfulloff+ck.jpg

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Re: How?

Disintermediate means to cut out the middleman; to remove something from between two other things.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How?

One of those made up catchy jargonistic words that actually mean nothing. It just bigs up the ego.

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Pint

Re: How?

I does mean something if disintermediation means you gotta start looking for a new job.

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Windows

What does disintermediate even mean?

My dictionary says that "disinter" means to "exhume" or to dig up something that has been buried.

It also says that "mediate" means "dependent on or involving an intermediate person, thing, or action".

So, we may conclude that "disintermediate" means getting someone else to dig things up for you... maybe just market gardening, but maybe bodies for the dissection table ... and maybe Windows 7 install disks, as I can see a demand for them!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: means you gotta start looking for a new job.

In that case, I'm definitely antidisintermediatarian

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Re: means you gotta start looking for a new job.

This is all surely just a misunderestimation.

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Facepalm

Obviously has no idea how windows upgrades work. You miss out every other release. Is there one person in the world who thought Vista was a "mandatory" upgrade?

This guy is a bit clueless. Then again... he is a salesman. He creates nothing. He just makes money off other people's products. He can do his "work" with a tablet. Well... whoopdeedoo. CIOs have many choices today which is a good thing. And they can select the appropriate hardware and software to best do the job required.

Is he seriously suggesting that people will go to work, then do all their work for the whole day, sat at their desk... on a smartphone?

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Anonymous Coward

1) Benioff is definitely selling his cloudy vision, but he is much more than just a salesman. He was one of the original assembly programmers at Apple way back in the day. Founded a software company in high school. He knows what he is talking about.

2) He isn't saying that LTE in its current form or that tablets in their current form will be the computing device for everyone. He is saying that the general direction is toward devices and non-Windows products and that there is no functional or technical need for any Windows user to upgrade to 8... as nearly everything is done online. Difficult to argue with that....

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I'll argue the difficult

Ok, I've been an assembler programmer almost as long as he has, so while my street cred doesn't include Apple, in includes others like Opera.

His company has no real benefit to developing Windows software any more since it's basically a business management system. It's pretty lame stuff. It's just a big, lame, database app. It belongs online as a web page.

I personally agree with Microsoft that applications like Office belong online. I however insist that the files are able to be stored exclusively locally. Office should not be software as a service, but instead should run as an app on my company's local servers. Microsoft has no business storing my files on their servers.

Software as a service is a disgusting model. It means you trust some third party company to store your data on their servers and trust they won't simply hand data over to government agencies. Trusting that they can keep your data safe when it gets hacked. Trusting you will have some way to use your data when they go out of business. Trusting you'll have some way to move your data to another service if you become unhappy with that company.

Let's be honest, software as a service is like a dream for a company like his. Get a bunch of customers, treat them fair, then lock them in and make it impossible for them to move to another service provider and then when contract renewal comes around, jack the rates.

Windows, iOS and Android are all interesting platforms. While Google is genuinely trying to make Android a replacement for a desktop OS, with the exception of sales people, I've never heard of anyone that can actually use iPad only. They all have a PC too. Apple simply doesn't care about business users. I have looked a lit and haven't once seen an app for iPad that says "professional grade".

Autodesk makes a bunch of iPhone apps. They're all just viewers. In fact, most professional apps for iPad and Android are just viewers for their desktop apps. Without a separate tablet or at least mouse or even track pad, engineering is a waste on iPad or Android.

Enter Windows 8 (not RT) and here comes apps for programming, engineering, games, etc... Windows 8 allows you to dump your iPad and your laptop and have a single device. The fact is, I have even using it for a year and love being able to either use a tablet or use it as a PC. I have Visual Studio, Matlab, Hyper-V with Linux, full Adobe apps like Premier and it all runs on a CPU/GPU capable of handling heavy loads. I have full Office and Visio as well.

Sorry buddy, lame ass databases do belong online. If I had to depend on software as a service, my family would starve.

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Re: I'll argue the difficult

"I however insist that the files are able to be stored exclusively locally. Office should not be software as a service, but instead should run as an app on my company's local servers. Microsoft has no business storing my files on their servers."

Agree with this, but Skyrive that comes with your personally bought device that you or I might buy in a shop is intended for us, not enterprise or business. A proper enterprise operation (imo) will be hosting their own cloud. I.e. they run a Server 2012 install (or more). The thing some people miss is that Skydrive is a default. It doesn't mean you can't replace it with your own cloud. But agree with your post - it's just I've seen people here talking as if Skydrive were some integral and necessary part of Win8.

My main problem with MS's Azure service, is that last time I checked (would love to find out they've changed it but not aware they have), they couldn't guarantee that they would run a server purely in the EU. Which means American data protection laws. Which means no data protection as far as I'm concerned. Could be wrong.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I'll argue the difficult

I would argue that you're not just comparing apples and pears, you're going through the whole fruit bowl :)

First off, SaaS ideas are critically dependent on a network, there is no local cache so if your virtual wire breaks you have a problem (less so with the Citrix approach where you just reconnect to the session in progress once you're back online). This is reason 1 why I will not touch a Chromebook - I cannot be certain that I can actually work as I travel a lot. This is also one of the issues with Salesforce. Nice DB, well spun out and well sold, but here too I have an issue with connectivity.

Secondly, there is the dependency on a 3rd party. You depend on them to do things right, not just in keeping the service up (which you correctly pointed out as an issue), but also keeping your data yours, and yours only (you did point at that too). This is where users of Google services astonish me - I bet a number of them are unwittingly breaking confidentiality agreements with their customers, and possible Data Protection laws (as a matter of fact, in one case I am actually certain of it). Do I trust a US company like Salesforce to protect my interests when a US competitor decides I'm now really hurting their business? Not a chance in hell, sorry. Argument 2 to stay well away from Chromebooks - and the fact that the supplier is actually in the data "acquisition" business and normal risk management thus dictates I should be careful here as non-US business - this is also why Android based systems are banned in most of our setup (I know this will create lots of negative comments, but that was *our* evaluation - yours may differ).

Thirdly there is the demand on resources - I like to process the hard work where I can see it. Amazon clouds et al are interesting, but I don't need that horsepower so I have that locally too - on the LAN where I can protect the information. I have large applications which would take a while to download - doesn't exactly compare with the powerful app that appears almost instantly out of an SSD.

Last but not least, the devices you speak about (tablets et al) are really made for CONSUMPTION (no, not the disease). I know massive amounts of people who use tablets to pick up their email when travelling, also because they know they will not create or write complex articles until they are back in their office. It's computing light, and what you do is read and maybe answer a few (one guy I know gets about 250+ emails a day from clients - thanks to an iPad he can deal with that when sitting in a hotel lobby). But every single one of my friends also use either a full desktop or a laptop with a decent keyboard and mouse to do the hard work - they would not *dream* to try that on an iPad. Not that many haven't tried, but that doesn't really work. They read news, books, email - asymmetric. Lots of display output, trivial amount of input. That works.

And here too, practically none use online software. Email is stored locally (typically they use IMAP syncs - I see more and more people switch to groupware instead of Exchange), and writing can also take place without connectivity (an iPad is the only thing that fits on the tray in front of an economy class plane seat anyway :).

So, I agree, but I think you left a few things out :).

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Trollface

Re: I'll argue the difficult

> lame ass databases

Newbie starting to make his way in the "industry" detected.

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Vic
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Re: I'll argue the difficult

> they couldn't guarantee that they would run a server purely in the EU. Which means American data protection laws.

Where the server is run is essentially an irrelevance; the Patriot Act means that the US Govt can demand the data anyway[1]. I can't imagine any US-based company refusing to comply with that...

Now you could argue that Data Protection is more than just protection from the government. And I would remind you which com=ountry we're talking about :-(

Vic.

[1] http://www.zdnet.com/blog/igeneration/microsoft-admits-patriot-act-can-access-eu-based-cloud-data/

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Re: I'll argue the difficult

Where the server is run is essentially an irrelevance; the Patriot Act means that the US Govt can demand the data anyway. I can't imagine any US-based company refusing to comply with that...

Correct - as a client of such an organisation you effectively have double exposure: either the Americans abuse the PATRIOT Act to get at the company if they are in the US, or they grab the underlying IT service company. You only need as much as an *association* with the US to have a problem. It's a bit like the Mafia, but marginally legalised and not yet planning to get at your family if you don't comply. No doubt they're working on that.

It pays to go back to the original of all this Data Protection stuff to see just how insidious it all has become. Dp has its origin in the privacy component of Human Rights (Article 12) which has been adopted by most countries in one way or the other. The "get out" clauses inserted in EU law were there to assist law enforcement, but it is time people realise that such exceptions are EXCEPTIONS, privileges the voter grants for the exclusive purpose of assisting with crime fighting. They are in principle rights infringements, warranted, but infringements they remain and they should be treated as such. Anyone wanting to use those privileges has to justify why.

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Re: I'll argue the difficult

I personally agree with Microsoft that applications like Office belong online. I however insist that the files are able to be stored exclusively locally. Office should not be software as a service, but instead should run as an app on my company's local servers. Microsoft has no business storing my files on their servers.

Agreed and upvoted, but ...

If the applications live online and yet can operate on locally stored data, the remote applications have to have permission to read and write your local filestore (to some extent). Without a much better security model than we have today that would mean that the applications can access anything (anything you have created with those applications, at least) on your hard drive, and could potentially copy the lot the cloud. There is no more privacy in what you suggest than in the normal "cloud" model.

You also have the situation in which, if the cloud-based applications go away (or change their data formats), the stored data on your hard drive might become unusable. You might have the data files on your own media, but you wouldn't be able to use them. OK, you mitigate this problem by suggesting that an enterprise would store the applications on its own servers, rather than public ones run by a third party, but it is still a problem that has to be managed.

Further, if the apps are on a server, rather than in local storage, you can only use them when you have a (fast!) data connection -- and then only at some cost. This model may be fine within an enterprise where all workers work only at their desks, but it just doesn't work for out-of-office work in remote locations.

I still want all my applications and all my data under my control on my media. Not because I think the cloud providers (Google and the like) are going to spy on me, but because they're my data and I want to be able to work on them in any way I want, in any place I want.

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Re: I'll argue the difficult

@h4rm0ny

"My main problem with MS's Azure service, is that last time I checked (would love to find out they've changed it but not aware they have), they couldn't guarantee that they would run a server purely in the EU. Which means American data protection laws. Which means no data protection as far as I'm concerned. Could be wrong."

The Reg had a webcast on this subject either earlier this year or in 2011. I think it was a project for the Royal Mail and Microsoft did offer a guarantee that it would be hosted inside the EU (Ireland and Holland I think).

Unfortunately shortly after that there were a couple of reports about the US claiming they had the right to drop a couple of sites they objected to, one because it was a .com, the other because the domain registrar was in the US. See US claims all .com and .net websites are in its jurisdiction

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Black Helicopters

Re: I'll argue the difficult

Way-to-go Cheesey, someone who gets it:

"Enter Windows 8 (not RT) and here comes apps for programming, engineering, games, etc... Windows 8 allows you to dump your iPad and your laptop and have a single device. The fact is, I have even using it for a year and love being able to either use a tablet or use it as a PC."

That's exactly what I hope to be doing. Handing back my iPad and Dell plastic fantastic and using a Surface.

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FAIL

No need to be bigoted

Yes, he is clearly clueless and drinking his own coolaid, but that's what CEOs do. If they don't truly believe in the "vision" of the company and its products, then who would buy them?

I'm not sure what you mean when you say salesmen create nothing and just make money off other people's products. You could say that about every employee who isn't directly involved in production. Look at those support techs... they don't create anything, they just make money fixing other people's products! Look at that janitor. He doesn't create anything, he just makes money emptying the trash of the real workers who create the products! Look at that supermarket, they don't create anything, they just make money selling other people's products!

Every company has a multitude of functions which are essential to the product being created, marketed, distributed and sold. If you think salesmen are so useless, I challenge you to build a successful company made up entirely of developers.

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Thumb Down

Re: I'll argue the difficult

Unfortunately the fanbois will be voting all these comments down, but it remains the truth. The iPad is a great media device but you can't do real "work" on it. If Microsoft is able to hit the sweetspot and create an OS that lets you use your tablet the way you use a laptop today then that would be a game changer. I know a lot of people love to hate Microsoft but it's not as if they're idiots. Windows is still the leading desktop OS by far, and the XBOX is the most popular gaming console in the world... they must be doing something right.

If they can pull this off it will make life much easier for a lot of people so I'm not ashamed to be hoping they'll succeed. If they can produce great tech, then hating it just because they're Microsoft is a bit short-sighted.

OK fanbois, downvote me!!

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I wish the world would disintermediate the need for dickheads

In the meantime expect to see these kinds of predictions from Benioff with increasing frequency as his own company fails to justify its valuation and he tries to keep the analysts from noticing.

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Re: I wish the world would disintermediate the need for dickheads

Time to build ourselves a 'B' Ark.

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Re: I wish the world would disintermediate the need for dickheads

Just remember not to send away the telephone sanitizers.

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Facepalm

I predict the end of paper by the end of the year.

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Happy

Your Late

Now I read that the paperless office would be here in about 1987.

What do you mean it is now 2012 and we still use paper? That cannot be right can it?

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Well, in the case of Newsweek magazine...

...you're actually right.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You're Late

Promised in tomorrow's world in 1980.

Pedantically correcting grammar and spelling in your title.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You're Late

I mean of not in

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Flame

Re: You're Late

And in 1987 I said that the paperless office would lead to greater paper consumption and waste.

(Flame because that's what happens to all the paper.)

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Wow, the CEO of a cloud computing company thinks his product is right and everyone else's is wrong. Shocker.

My company is a Watchguard partner and their website is fecking useless since Salesforce took it over!

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Windows

Uhm, mixing things up?

I tend to agree with this guy but then again; that's only fuelled by my own dislike of Win8. However, I wonder if he isn't contradicting himself here:

"Instead, he said, customers are increasingly using smartphones and tablets as their primary computing devices, and that trend will only continue as the wireless networking technology improves."

But doesn't that talk right into Win8's "alley", considering how it is fully targeting mobile and touch platforms while even somewhat limiting the desktop experience?

I think Mr. Benioff has a good point that people have a choice these days, but how many people will use those alternatives? In popular believe moving to an alternative environment is "difficult", "time consuming", "error prone" and so on.

I don't think its all that likely that people will look into alternatives. Instead I think they'll just sit it out and wait for Win9 to appear. And when that also turns out to be a disappointment then I think we're on the highway to "doom" indeed....

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That is the Windows 8 plan

The problem is execution.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Uhm, mixing things up?

"But doesn't that talk right into Win8's "alley", considering how it is fully targeting mobile and touch platforms while even somewhat limiting the desktop experience?"

I suppose, but Windows still = PC. They are trying to break into mobile and tablet, but with few takers thusfar.

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