There has been speculation of a deal in the last few months to this effect, but WSJ reports that Google and Salesforce.com are discussing an alliance that could help them compete more effectively with Microsoft, meaning not a buyout but a tie-up deeper than the AdWords deal the two have now. The talks are still ongoing.
Last week, Jason Maynard, an analyst with Credit Suisse, came out with a report last week commenting on the speculation that Google may buy the sales CRM giant, but he said that was unlikely and a partnership might be in the works. “From a Salesforce.com perspective…we think a closer link with Google is positive as it would minimize potential competition, fortify efforts against Microsoft (MSFT), and enhance the [Salesforce.com] offering through better integration with Google online services,” he wrote.
The deal could be where a Web-based offering integrates some of Google’s online services such as eimail and IM with those of Salesforce.com.