Salesforce CEO claims end is nigh for Windows OS

Warning

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has told delegates at the Cloudforce conference in Manhattan that Windows 8 will mark the end of Microsoft's dominant operating system.

The new OS, which is released on 26 October, will be "the end of Windows", Benioff said, adding "Windows is irrelevant".

Benioff's argument was not that Windows 8 will be an unmitigated disaster, but that cloud computing and the rise of bring-your-own-device' (BYOD) trend means PCs are becoming obsolete.

"Windows 8 is the gambit will [CIOs] upgrade, or will they do something else? People are asking do I go to Windows 8 or not? This was not the case with Windows 7," said Benioff.

"You heard about the Windows 7 upgrade cycle. You're not going to hear about the Windows 8 upgrade cycle."

Benioff sought to back up his claim by detailing a conversation he had with an unnamed CIO recently.

"Her goal is to get rid of all of the PCs. She doesn't see a demand curve from users for PCs," he said.

Instead, the unnamed CEO is hoping to move to a BYOD model, Benioff claimed, adding that smartphones and tablets have "forced CIOs to make changes already".

While Benioff hailed the end of the PC, he concluded his session by admitting it may not happen quite as quickly as his initial comments suggested.

"We're not completely there...Everything is not heterogeneous client and everything is not LTE(4G) and everything is not cloud, but I think that's where we're going," he said.

"And I don't know how long it's going to take to get there it's going to take more visionary people than me to tell you when exactly that's going to happen but we're on a train and we're not getting off of it."

Jane McCallion
Deputy Editor

Jane McCallion is ITPro's Managing Editor, specializing in data centers and enterprise IT infrastructure. Before becoming Managing Editor, she held the role of Deputy Editor and, prior to that, Features Editor, managing a pool of freelance and internal writers, while continuing to specialize in enterprise IT infrastructure, and business strategy.

Prior to joining ITPro, Jane was a freelance business journalist writing as both Jane McCallion and Jane Bordenave for titles such as European CEO, World Finance, and Business Excellence Magazine.