Microsoft allies with Salesforce in cloud push

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iol scitech june 2 Satya Nadella REUTERS Nadella, 47, who took over from Steve Ballmer in February at the head of the US software giant, has been at the centre of a controversy since early October over his comments at a conference in Arizona.

San Francisco - Microsoft has partnered with business services software star Salesforce.com as part of its push into the Internet “cloud.”

San Francisco-based Salesforce is a cloud computing poster child, winning big by offering programs for managing marketing teams or other company operations as services hosted online.

Salesforce compatibility and capabilities will be woven into the Microsoft Office 365 suite offered as part of its cloud platform.

“We are excited to partner with Salesforce.com and help customers thrive in a mobile and cloud-first world,” said Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella.

People will also be able to access Salesforce services from Windows-powered smartphones or tablets, such as the freshly launched Surface Pro 3, according to Microsoft.

That capability should be generally available next year.

“Today is about putting the customer first,” said Salesforce chief executive Marc Benioff.

“Together with Microsoft, we are building bridges that allow customers to be more productive.”

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Microsoft last week unveiled its new Surface Pro tablet designed as a powerful all-purpose computer fit to replace a laptop.

Surface Pro 3 was touted as slimmer, bigger and more powerful than its predecessor and crafted for a world in which people want to work as well as play on tablets.

“We want products and technologies that enable people to dream and get stuff done,” Nadella said at a Pro launch event.

Microsoft in March released Office software tailored for iPads, and it soared to the top of the charts at Apple's online App Store.

While Office applications for iPad are free, subscriptions to Microsoft's online Office 365 service are needed to be able to create or edit documents, spreadsheets or presentations.

More than a billion people reportedly use Office. - Sapa-AFP

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