I just came back to work after four days in New Orleans for the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Convergence 2013 user conference, and I have to admit, I was a little apprehensive about going at first. After all, I’d packed my Apple Mac laptop, loaded with a whole bunch of Google software that I use to access the Internet, my email, my calendar, and some documents.
“Should I feel guilty about using a Mac at a Microsoft conference?” I asked one analyst seated next to me in the press area for the Opening keynote address by Kiril Tatarinov, president of the Microsoft Business Solutions Group. Then I noticed that he too was on a Mac, and I felt a little better. If I was going to get in trouble, at least I wouldn’t be alone.
In a quick scan of the rows around me, I noticed that a good many of my fellow press people and analysts in attendance were also using Macs. Well, they can’t throw us all out of here, can they? Who would be around to provide an objective, unbiased account of the conference?
To my surprise, Microsoft also seems to have come to the realization that not everyone in the world is using Windows-based PCs, laptops, Surface tablets, and smartphones. Despite some veiled humor at Apple’s and Google’s expense, the Microsoft people seem to be more prepared than ever to embrace these other devices, platforms, and applications providers. With the confluence of mobile, social, and the cloud, the company is starting to see that it can’t continue to operate in a siloed, proprietary, Microsoft-only zone any more.
Some of the CRM product line already integrates with Facebook, Twitter, and Google AdWords, and more integrations are on the way, according to Microsoft executives. They even pledged, through an initiative called CRM Everywhere, to provide “seamless access across devices,” a greater emphasis on HTML5 as a development platform, and even doing more for the iPad.
What can I say? Welcome to the party, Microsoft.
Editor’s Note: Just to show that I’m not biased against Microsoft products, I typed this blog entry using Microsoft Word for Mac and then imported it into WordPress.