Microsoft is holding its annual Worldwide Partner Conference in Washington, D.C. in July, but it’s gone out of its way to uninvite four of its main competitors. According to the conference website:
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 declined to comment.
Microsoft is pitching the event as a way to network and learn “business-building best practices” and gain expertise in Microsoft products. CEO Satya Nadella, champion of the new, open Microsoft, is scheduled to speak about “his vision for our joint success in a mobile-first, cloud-first world.” The Azure cloud, that is.
Microsoft’s Azure cloud service competes with similar offerings from Amazon and Google. Microsoft Dynamics elbows for market share with Salesforce.com’s Force.com, and Microsoft is taking on VMware with its Hyper-V virtualization platform.
But Microsoft is still being curiously selective. It hasn’t, to the best of our knowledge, issued “please stay away” notices to Apple, Oracle, Citrix or Red Hat, all of whom offer alternatives to Microsoft products and services. Microsoft’s business software likewise competes with offerings from SAP, although to be fair, the companies have also worked together in other respects for some time.
Update: Microsoft has dropped Salesforce.com from the list of companies whose employees are not invited to attend the conference. Microsoft declined to comment.
Update: Microsoft has dropped mention of all four companies from the event website, but all four are still not allowed to attend, according to a Microsoft spokesperson.