Microsoft takes off the kid gloves in the battle for the cloud

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Microsoft showed today just how serious it is about dominating cloud services, paying companies $150 per seat to switch to its cloud-based Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and launching a cutting, tongue-in-cheek video ad targeting VMWare's virtualization tools.

Microsoft clearly recognizes that cloud computing is the future. In a company post about the latest campaign, it cited research from Forrester claiming that the global cloud market will rise from $40.7 billion in 2011 to more than $241 billion in 2020.

The $150-per-seat offer is directed straight at Oracle, Salesforce.com, and SAP. Customers of those companies can get $150 per seat from Microsoft to switch. For a sizable customer, that adds up to big money -- $75,000 for 500 seats.

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