In June, Salesforce claimed that Microsoft violated five Salesforce.com patents with its Windows Server AppFabric for installing and provisioning apps on Azure, Windows Live Services including Hotmail and SkyDrive storage, .NET, Windows 7, Server 2008 R2, and SharePoint products and technologies. As noted in this report on ServerWatch, 'The Cloud' might be what the battle is really all about.
"When Microsoft turns into an alley thug, you can be pretty sure the company has something other than its server OSes on its mind. Recently, the company got itself into a right old barney with Salesforce.com, launching a lawsuit over nine CRM-related patents on which it claims Salesforce.com is infringing. The two organizations, let's not forget, are competitors in the cloud-based CRM space.
"If Microsoft and Salesforce.com were two naughty schoolboys then the teacher would come over, bang their heads together, and ask them what all this is about. 'The cloud, sir,' would be the correct answer.
"The cloud is certainly important for Microsoft, which launched its Azure platform as a paid-for service at the beginning of this year. Since then, though, we haven't really heard a great deal about it. That's a bit odd, given the huge song and dance the company made when it announced Azure at its Professional Developers Conference back in October 2008."