Microsoft Banned Google, VMware, Salesforce Employees From Its Big Conference This Week

Larry Page bannedGoogle CEO Larry Page

In all our years in covering enterprise conferences, we’ve never seen a registration form that specifically bans employees from certain companies from attending.

But Microsoft has flat-out said that if you work for three of its rivals, you can’t come to its Worldwide Partner Conference, as first spotted by the VAR Guy.

The WPC conference is happening this week in Houston and it’s where people who sell Microsoft products meet to learn the latest from the company.

On the registration form, Microsoft says:

The following companies and their employees and representatives are excluded from pre-purchasing passes for, attending and / or participating in WPC 2013 and affiliated events:

1. Google
3. VMware

It’s such a refreshingly honest approach, rather than letting people submit their registration and be quietly rejected later.

We can certainly understand why Microsoft doesn’t want rivals wandering around and mingling with the more than 16,000 attendees from over 160 countries, expected to attend. All of these folks make their livings selling Microsoft products.

But it’s almost curious that the list was as short as it was. Apparently, employees from Apple, Amazon, and Red Hat can attend, or at least apply. Ditto for folks that work at Cisco, IBM, Oracle. Microsoft actually has a lot of rivals.

We’ve asked Microsoft for comment on the ban and will update this story when we hear back.

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