Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of Salesforce.com, was full of enthusiasm for cloud computing at his company's CloudForce 2 conference this week, but he was also pumped up by something else: Apple's iPad.
"It's fantastic. It's the best thing I've ever used," Benioff told conference attendees during a keynote address, calling it the hottest-selling computer in history. "Probably because it didn't come from Microsoft."
The iPad featured prominently throughout the slides of Benioff's presentation and in technology demonstrations of Chatter, a Facebook-like collaboration feature that will be rolled out as part of Salesforce.com on June 22. At one point, Benioff showed Chatter running on his own iPad, saying the application and device helped him to break out of the "bubble" that keeps many CEOs from knowing what their employees are doing.
Speaking with reporters after the keynote, Benioff tempered his enthusiasm for the iPad. "I was an employee of Apple in 1984 and I love Apple, but also I really love all computers," said Benioff, who also worked at Oracle before starting Salesforce.com.
He also noted that his keynote showcased other devices, such as the BlackBerry and the iPhone, as well as laptop computers. "Salesforce, because it's just a cloud service, can run on all these different computers but I really want to demonstrate that, because it makes the point, we're there. The industry moves, we're there," he said.