Amazon(s amzn) and Microsoft(s msft) are definitely partners — users can run a bunch of Microsoft software on Amazon Web Services — but the companies are increasingly at odds now that Microsoft Azure has AWS-like Infrastructure-as-a-Service capabilities. That’s probably why Microsoft added Amazon to the list of the dis-invited for its annual Worldwide Partners Conference where Amazon joins Google(s goog), VMware(s vmw), Salesforce.com(s crm).
Shutting out competitors from vendor trade shows is nothing new — here’s the VARguy’s story on last year’s WPC no-gos. And earlier this year, VMware refused to let partners Nutanix and Veeam into its partner event. But the supreme example of a spectacular snub came a few years back when Oracle(s orcl) CEO Larry Ellison famously cancelled a keynote by Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff scheduled for Oracle OpenWorld. The issue? Salesforce.com is a huge Oracle partner and customer, but also a die-hard competitor in enterprise applications.
So all this invite/disinvite stuff is part of the game. Still these sorts of corporate edicts bear watching because they tell you what the host company sees as its biggest threats.
Per the Microsoft WPC web site:
The following companies and their employees and representatives are excluded from pre-purchasing passes for attending and / or participating in WPC 2014 and affiliated events:
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella will speak at the show which Microsoft traditionally uses to fire up thousands of VARs, ISV and systems integration partners about its latest efforts which this year will of course focus on its cloud-and-mobile message.
News last week that Rackspace hired Morgan Stanley to explore its options really isn’t surprising given the white-hot price competition roiling the public cloud market and how crowded the private cloud arena is getting. Rackspace which has a market cap of $5.13 billion, is dwarfed by rivals. Market caps for Amazon, Google and Microsoft are ( in order) $137 billion, $351 billion and $329 billion. And all those companies have trailing twelve-month revenue that eclipses Rackspace’s (see chart below.) You see the problem.
Immediate speculation was that Cisco(s csco), Oracle(s orcl), or AT&T(s t) might buy Rackspace to enhance/expand their cloud businesses. Last year, Big Blue kicked the tires on Rackspace but ended up buying SoftLayer instead for $2 billion.
Rackspace president Taylor Rhodes will be on hand at Structure next month in San Francisco so we’ll ask for an update on the company’s progress.
Heroku CEO Tod Nielsen talks PaaS
On this week’s Structure Show Tod Nielsen laid out his case as to why companies need Heroku and Force.com PaaSes and Salesforce.com to build and deploy internal and customer facing applications. If you’re strapped for time, his segment starts about 15 minutes into the podcast.