Microsoft’s chief operating officer, Kevin Turner, was in rare form Wednesday at the company’s Worldwide Partner Conference in Los Angeles — delivering zinger after zinger about Microsoft’s rivals, including Google, Salesforce.com, VMware, Apple and others.
Keep in mind that a major purpose of this conference is to energize Microsoft’s network of partners, and Turner’s rhetorical fuel of choice is hyperbole. But as a glimpse into Microsoft’s competitive mindset, it’s revealing — and also pretty entertaining, if taken with a huge grain of salt.
For example, Turner at one point showed this slide, citing Apple’s “ecosystem divide.”
“When I talk about that Apple ecosystem, the ability to get one application to run across those five platforms is very difficult,” he said. “In the future of Microsoft using HTML5, IE9 and 10, the scalable OS, the ability to do that gets much, much easier. And so having that vision to take us to a unified ecosystem with consistently connected user experiences is really, really strategic for us.”
That may be where Microsoft is headed with the future release of Windows 8 and other products. But keep in mind that this is a company with a music device, Zune, with apps that aren’t compatible with its Windows Phone operating system.
Other comments by Turner on the company’s competition:
- “There are no happy Siebel customers in the world, you all know that. And we can go win every single one of those. But now we’ve got this humongous pacifier to stick in the mouth of Marc Benioff called Dynamics CRM Online. Which is a really, really beautiful thing for us, for both partners and Microsoft.” (See this post by CNet’s Jay Greene for the Salesforce.com CEO’s response.)
- “It’s so exciting to be able to talk about Office 365. I can only describe what Office 365 is in sort of two words. You could say technically it’s three words. But Office 365, ladies and gentlemen, is nothing but a Google butt-kicker, that’s all it is.”
- “This is a company (Google) that has a mission statement that they have to remind themselves not to do evil, right?”
There was also some news that emerged from the event, with Turner saying that Microsoft plans to accelerate its retail expansion, opening as many as 75 more stores over the next two to three years.