I suspect any Salesforce.com/Google deal would be more a function of Salesforce.com competing with Microsoft CRM than Google competing with Microsoft.
The companies are still hashing out details of a potential partnership, expected to be announced in the next few weeks. But one outcome, these people said, could be a Web-based offering that integrates some of Google's online services such as email and instant-messaging with those of Salesforce.com, whose "customer-relationship management" tools help salespeople track their accounts. Details about how such a service might be sold are still in flux, they added.
Unrelated to the Salesforce.com negotiations, Google announced Friday that it is launching a new Google Apps Partner Edition, which will let other Internet companies build Google's online word-processing, spreadsheet and email services into their own products. Google Apps Partner Edition has both a free service and a package that includes phone support as well as additional branding and advertising options for a monthly fee.