Eric Schmidt says “Google is the new Microsoft”

Eric Schmidt says Google is the new Microsoft

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt has given an interview with Bloomberg in which he talks about how Google is “Winning [the] war” between Apple and Google in the smartphone market.

The problem with the comments Schmidt makes in this article is that he’s comparing Apple as one manufacturer against Androids veritable army of different manufacturers, you know, the ones that are actually doing most of the work?

Schmidt says

“This is a huge platform change; this is of the scale of 20 years ago — Microsoft versus Apple, We’re winning that war pretty clearly now.”

The problem with that analogy is that the only company that actually thought Apple was a threat was Microsoft. Apple never intended to beat Microsoft. Also the winner of that particular battle can be measured in different ways depending on when you set the cutoff for a winner to be declared.

He then goes on to say:

“The core strategy is to make a bigger pie,” he said. “We will end up with a not perfectly controlled and not perfectly managed bigger pie by virtue of open systems.”

He concedes here that basically Android is going to have issues as a result of their decision to be open. This, as we have discussed many times across the site, has resulted in a poorer experience for the customer in terms of updates and OS fragmentation.

Which leads me back to something I alluded to earlier, it’s not Google that’s winning this “war”, it’s pretty much just Samsung. Google’s Nexus devices and stock Android is on a very small amount of the total number of handsets so customers rarely see the pure Google experience.

It boils down to how you measure winning this “war”. If it’s marketshare and daily activations then Google is the winner but if its volume of sales of a single model, profits or the tablet market, then Apple is the winner. The point I’m making is that its very easy to skew the numbers in either direction.

He also mentions Google’s tax avoidance in the UK:

“We pay lots of taxes; we pay them in the legally prescribed ways, I am very proud of the structure that we set up. We did it based on the incentives that the governments offered us to operate.”

Emphasis is this authors and I’ll leave you to formulate your own opinions on whether this is right or wrong morally.

I do get a little excited whenever Eric Schmidt gives an interview nowadays as more and more his quotes tend to come across as the ramblings of someone who is not fully aware of the business he works in and so he frequently makes stuff up. In the last year alone he’s told us that the majority of developers would develop for Android first by virtue of it being the largest OS and that Google TV would be on half all TV’s shipped by the summer of 2012. Neither of those things came true. This has resulted in me nicknaming him,

Eric “Bull” Schmidt