Benioff trash-talks Oracle 'cash cows'

Salesforce.com CEO dismisses 'old status quo players' while unveiling cloud service

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Never mind how Oracle will respond to Salesforce.com's cloud-based Database.com, the "database as a service" announced Tuesday and expected to be available next year (details here).

And never even mind the celebrity glitz brought by singer Will.i.am, who laid out details of the technology behind the new service with a mind-blowing 45-minute PowerPoint presentation at Salesforce's user group meeting in San Francisco. (OK, actually the BlackEyedPeas leader just said he looks forward to the cloud enabling people to hear his “songs as they are being made," as InformationWeek reports. But I hear his enthusiasm was palpable.)

The real question is how long before Oracle founder and CEO Larry Ellison responds to this dismissive broadside by Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff (also from InformationWeek):

“We know those old status quo players who want to hold on, to milk those cash cows. So they’re spreading fear and doubt about the cloud. . . The cloud is not a box. It was amazing to me that that sort of positioning was still happening."

Larry, dude, unless he's confusing your company with Gateway, I think Benioff just called Oracle's products cows! Are you just going to sit there in your office, throwing darts at a picture of HP chief executive Leo Apotheker, and take that from a guy whose checks you used to sign? A guy you mentored?

That's a rhetorical question, of course, because we all know Larry Ellison always hits back, harder. We look forward to his measured response.

Chris Nerney writes about the business side of technology market strategies and trends, legal issues, leadership changes, mergers, venture capital, IPOs and technology stocks. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisNerney.

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