So far Salesforce and Microsoft played didn’t compete much in the cloud computing space.
The former is a well-known player in the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) market with its CRM while the latter is trying to establish a presence in the Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) market with Azure.
But Microsoft is entering the SaaS space with Office Web Apps and its Dynamics CRM Online.
At the same time Salesforce is about to extend the capabilities of its Force.com PaaS cloud thanks to a deal with VMware, which will allow customers to develop applications with Java and not just with the Apex Code language.
Looking forward, the competition between the two players is set to increase a lot so it doesn’t surprise much to see a preemptive patent war taking place right now.
In mid-May Microsoft sued Salesforce for infringement of nine patents.
Salesforce counter-sued Microsoft for infringement of five patents, which involve technologies used in Azure, Windows Live Services, .NET, Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2, and even SharePoint.
As The Register reports:
The patents cover dynamic multi-level cache, a method for provisioning services, Java object cache server for databases, error reporting and work sharing, and communication with a web site.
Salesforce is not just asking that Microsoft be forced to pay three times the normal damages because it willfully infringed the patents. Salesforce also wants an injunction that stops Microsoft from using the patents.