Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer kicked off his Dell World keynote on Friday by branding the Salesforce and VMWare keynotes as “idle chatter”.
Ballmer appeared on stage at day two of Dell’s conference on Friday to discuss Windows 8, Skype and the company’s Lync communications platform. Ballmer introduced a demonstration of Windows 8 and Windows Server 8 shortly after discussing Dell and Microsoft’s close partnership. “I would argue even in the organization of this meeting, you could see the strong partnership between the two companies,” said Ballmer. “I was so pleased to be on day two with Paul Otellini [Intel CEO] instead of having to be on day one, a day of idle chatter in my opinion.”
Day one of Dell World 2011 featured VMware CEO Paul Maritz and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, two of Microsoft’s biggest rivals in the battle for the cloud. Benioff previously labeled Microsoft an “evil empire” and has a long history of trading insults with Microsoft officials. Microsoft also recently poked fun at VMware with a new marketing campaign in August. Microsoft created a VMlimited mini-site that claimed VMware was “stuck in the past” with its cloud offerings.
Despite the joking, Ballmer discussed how Microsoft was re-imagining the entire company alongside Windows. “We’re not just re-imagining Windows, we’re also re-imagining the rest of Microsoft essentially at the same time,” explained Ballmer. He introduced short demonstrations of Windows 8, Windows Server 8 and Lync. Ballmer also briefly discussed Skype and its role in Lync and the enterprise. “One of the great efforts now is to make sure we get Skype to our Lync technology for inside the enterprise video, so you can have a managed solution inside the enterprise and still be able to reach the whole world of hundreds of millions of Skype users.” Microsoft’s BJ Haberkorn also demonstrated the company’s Windows Phone Lync application, promising a release before the end of the year.