Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



Should Microsoft Be Scared of

Watch stocks you care about

The single, easiest way to keep track of all the stocks that matter...

Your own personalized stock watchlist!

It's a 100% FREE Motley Fool service...

Click Here Now

Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) SharePoint has a big target on its back. The company setting its sights on Mr. Softy is Silicon-Valley startup

Privately held Box has been gaining traction with business users and IT departments all over the place. The company has garnered 7 million users and 100,000 businesses and tallies up 250,000 new users every month. Its cloud-storage and collaboration platform competes directly with SharePoint, which commands 100 million customers. Although it's not quite a "SharePoint killer," the growing company represents a threat that Microsoft can't ignore.

Box has just secured $81 million in funding from new investors, including (NYSE: CRM  ) , valuing the company at more than $600 million. Aaron Levie, Box's 26-year-old CEO, plans on using the cash to focus on infrastructure, build out a third data center, and invest in R&D.

This comes shortly after rejecting an unsolicited buyout offer from cloud heavyweight Citrix Systems (Nasdaq: CTXS  ) . Box is getting cozier with Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) , which has had its hands full lately and hasn't been focusing on enterprise. Box would be a no-brainer acquisition for Big G if Levie weren't insistent on keeping the company independent.

In a direct shot at Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Levie recently took to the stage at the company's inaugural customer conference, Boxworks, and said, "Enterprise software isn't sexy, and that's because it makes you think of this guy" -- as he displayed a picture of Ballmer. Box is also going after other enterprise-software players, including IBM (NYSE: IBM  ) and Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL  ) .

Last year, Microsoft announced Office 365, a major upgrade to its staple Office offering that promises to make the software much more cloud-friendly. Microsoft initially launched a beta period and then pegged next year for widespread availability.

As much as Levie resists offers, this Fool thinks he will eventually give in and sell the company to a bigger player. In the meantime, he'll be keeping Microsoft on its toes playing defense.

Add Microsoft to your Watchlist to see how this story ends. And get a free video report on Microsoft and cloud computing.

Fool contributor Evan Niu holds no position in any company mentioned. Check out his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and Google. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of, Google, and Microsoft, creating a bull call spread position in Microsoft, and shorting Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (1)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 1569586, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 11/28/2015 11:42:25 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Evan Niu

Evan is a Senior Technology Specialist at The Motley Fool. He was previously a Senior Trading Specialist at a major discount broker. Evan graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, and is a CFA charterholder.

Today's Market

updated 1 day ago Sponsored by:
DOW 17,798.49 -14.90 -0.08%
S&P 500 2,090.11 1.24 0.06%
NASD 5,127.53 11.38 0.22%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

11/27/2015 1:01 PM
CRM $79.97 Down -0.44 -0.55% CAPS Rating: **
CTXS $76.85 Up +0.49 +0.64%
Citrix Systems, In… CAPS Rating: ***
GOOGL $771.97 Up +2.71 +0.35%
Alphabet (A shares… CAPS Rating: ****
IBM $138.46 Up +0.46 +0.33%
International Busi… CAPS Rating: ****
MSFT $53.93 Up +0.24 +0.45%
Microsoft CAPS Rating: ***
ORCL $39.18 Down -0.08 -0.20%
Oracle CAPS Rating: ****