Google Sees Microsoft As Primary Competitor

Filed under: — By Aviran Mordo @ 5:02 pm

Stung by recent criticism of the company’s actions in recent months, Google CEO Eric Schmidt held a roundtable lunch Thursday with a number of journalists in which he talked a lot about the company .

Schmidt say he saw Microsoft and not Yahoo as the long-term primary competitor, because of its money in the bank and history. However, Schmidt was quick to say that the acquisition of Writely was not meant to create a competitor to Microsoft Office, which he said solves a complicated and important problem of work productivity. Writely is a server-based editing system where you can move your files around, he said, and there are places where a rich text editor is useful in Google.

“Office is not the business we’re in,” Schmidt said, saying the company wanted to do new things.

Schmidt said he saw Writely and other server-based tools as another way to collect and organize the world’s data. “All the world’s information includes personal information,” he noted.

But Schmidt also said the company can’t possibly be doing all the things that people say it is working on. “We’re not really that exciting,” he said.

But he also noted that the company’s image also gives it a certain aura within the technology industry. “The mystique works in our benefit,” he said. “It’s an engineering recruitment tool.”

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