At big events, PR likes to put out some info prior to the event under embargo, but save something exciting for the Keynote. Well I guess that was Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, joining Marc Benioff, Salesforce.com CEO, up on stage to announce their partnership. Facebook sent Sheryl Sandberg, not Mark Zuckerberg, as this was a business crowd with more Blackberries than iPhones and plenty of ties.
It was a big party. Amazon and Google were also invited. The message - all aligned with Salesforce.com in their quest to be the dominant Cloud Computing platform for business.
Who Was Not Invited?
LinkedIn was not at the party. The announcement of Force.com for Facebook, which you can see here, was illustrated with recruiting applications, which is LinkedIn's primary domain. This was designed to show that companies, i.e. the Salesforce.com customer base, could build Force.com applications and deploy them on Facebook.
Sheryl Sandberg told us why we should bother - 120m users on Facebook, 30m joined in the last 3 months (the same number that took them their first 3 years to build).
Oh, and Microsoft was not invited either. In any case they might have got upset at all the jokes about Sharepoint that Benioff used whenever he wanted to play to the gallery.
Benioff told a compelling big picture story that computing has gone through two waves, from mainframe to PC client server and that now we are in the third wave of Cloud Computing. Salesforce.com got into that game early and have the clout and the drive to imagine being the number one player in Cloud Computing for business - assuming that Google will be the number one for consumer.