On the stage tonight at D9 Google’s Executive Chairman, Eric Schmidt, was put in the hot seat with Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher pitching. It wasn’t nearly as grueling as last years interview with RIM/Blackberry CEO Mike Lazaridis ,but it was typical, Walt “I hate all things Google” Mossberg. We’ve learned through several sources that even Kara Swisher, married to a Googler, has a certain affinity towards Apple.
Tonight Schmidt was asked if Google was in a two company war with Apple much like the previous decades when Microsoft was up against Apple and despite their shiny computers and obsessive loyalists, Microsoft still kind of won that war, at least in aggregate numbers.
More after the break
Schmidt actually said that nowadays there isn’t just two companies in fact there is now a gang of four and that gang doesn’t include Microsoft. At least on the consumer side. Later in the talk Schmidt gave Microsoft credit in the enterprise space which he said is keeping them afloat.
Microsoft has seen runaway success with both the Xbox and the Kinect platform via the Xbox however Schmidt said that Xbox is not a platform at the “computational level” and went on to tell Mossberg and Swisher that “Microsoft is still fundamentally about Office and Windows”.
Google is of course part of the gang of four which also includes Amazon, Facebook and Apple. Schmidt contends that they have frenemy type relationships with the other three companies. For instance Google has a good relationship with Apple for both search and maps on their IOS devices. They also have a good relationship with Amazon who they partnered with on the Amazon Android app store, despite being in the digital goods business.
Facebook was another story. Schmidt did say that Facebook often times partners with Microsoft and Bing and that he wishes that Google had some of the things that Facebook has although he would not elaborate. Schmidt also said that one of the four companies buying another one out was unlikely especially because of regulation.
Source: D9 and Allthingsd