Google CEO Eric Schmidt is no stranger to making the headlines. From veiled threats to the newspaper industry to his ongoing fight with the U.S. government over his relationship with Apple, Mr. Schmidt has made himself a frequent subject of the news. Now he's gone on the record again, in an interview with Fox Business Network and has said some interesting things.
Mr. Schmidt led off the interview by dismissing competitor Microsoft's new entry into the search market, Bing. He comments, "It's not the first entry for Microsoft. They do this about once a year. I don't think Bing's arrival has changed what we're doing. We are about search, we're about making things enormously successful, by virtue of innovation."
He continues, "Google is about getting all the information and organizing it. Yahoo has a different strategy. We think ultimately Bing will evolve to a different strategy as well."
While Mr. Schmidt is not nervous about Bing, some members of Google appear to be. Google Chief Financial Officer Patrick Pachette promised to conduct "a review tomorrow on it with the executive committee." Last week one major web research firm, StatCounter declared that Bing had passed Yahoo in traffic. Other research firms contradicted this report, stating that Yahoo was doing approximately three times the amount of traffic as Bing, still. Nonetheless, Bing has grabbed the public eye.
On the topic of the other major player in the market, Yahoo, Schmidt states, "As you know we got within an hour of doing a very deep partnership with Yahoo, but we were unable to do it because of the government and their concerns over various parts of the deal."
He also hints at a greater Android and Google application push into the smart phone sphere, stating, "This is the year of mobile phones. What we like is every one of these has a powerful browser and everyone is used to search."
While Mr. Schmidt may have been a bit critical of Microsoft's Bing, he did take a more positive tone about another Microsoft product -- the email client, Outlook. Google recently created a plugin that allows Outlook to use Google Apps and Gmail as a backend, rather than Microsoft Exchange product. Mr. Schmidt comments, "I grew up with Outlook as well, which is why we're doing these things. It's very important to bridge the new kind of customer, the young customer, with the existing customer that has grown up with the Microsoft infrastructure."