Wow Eric, how do you really feel?
In an interview with Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher in New York the other day, the Google exec made some really catty and biting remarks.
Mossberg: Two years ago we talked to you and you brought up this “Gang of Four” idea. The most influential tech companies. Please expand on that, and update that.
Schmidt: Something unusual has happened. All four companies are networks/platforms generating enormous scale effects. We’ve never had that before: Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Google. All different, all competitors, all making enormous investments.
Swisher: You left out Microsoft:
Mossberg: Why did you keep Microsoft out of the Gang of Four?
Schmidt: They’re a well-run company, but they haven’t been able to bring state-of-the-art products into the fields we’re talking about yet.
Mossberg: In a few weeks we’ll see something historic. Microsoft will have built its first computer, with Surface. Running a Microsoft OS. That’s a huge change for them, because they were always licensing operating systems to other people. What does this mean?
Schmidt: “It means a lot if the product works.”
Mossberg: Let’s say it does.
Schmidt: “My answer stands.” Microsoft built a structural monopoly around Windows. “Produced enormous value, and a series of antitrust cases, which they lost.” So is that the right model to solve problems? I would argue that we’ve evolved to a new model, like with Android. “We’re going to see an explosion of integrated hardware/software solutions.”
In the next few months we are going to find out if Eric is right or not.