Is Eric Schmidt getting too cocky?

Is Eric Schmidt getting too cocky?

Summary: "In 2007 we’ll witness the increasing dominance of open Internet standards. As web access via mobile phones grows, these standards will sweep aside the proprietary protocols promoted by individual companies striving for technical monopoly.

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TOPICS: Google
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"In 2007 we’ll witness the increasing dominance of open Internet standards. As web access via mobile phones grows, these standards will sweep aside the proprietary protocols promoted by individual companies striving for technical monopoly. Today’s desktop software will be overtaken by internet-based services that enable users to choose the document formats, search tools and editing capability that best suit their needs."

That passage, from an interview with the Economist certainly sounds like Google CEO Eric Schmidt is picking a fight with Microsoft, aka the main player "striving for technical monopoly."

As Nick Carr notes on his blog Schmidt's quotes are a bit of a departure from what he told ZDNet's Dan Farber earlier this month. Overall, Carr reads Schmidt to be issuing a threat to Microsoft's Office juggernaut. Until now Schmidt has been coy about Google's plans in productivity software.

Add it up and you're left with a few questions. What exactly is Schmidt thinking? Is he getting too cocky? Or does he honestly believe that running into Microsoft head-on is the best business move?

Perhaps Schmidt is being blinded by a $500-plus stock price, but a direct assault Microsoft, which has unlimited resources, may not be the brightest move.

After all, Microsoft could buy Yahoo tomorrow and make life difficult for Google. The turn of events is even more surprising given Schmidt's track record. He was a whipping boy for Microsoft while he was CEO of Novell. Listening to those conference calls--and the Wall Street disappointments--a few years ago was just downright painful. It's quite a sea change compared to the lovefest that Google's earnings calls have become.

What happened? Schmidt landed in a situation that was perfect for him. Meanwhile, his engineering background gelled with Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page. That arrangement is a once in a lifetime gig.

Perhaps the Google trio has a plan to bring down Microsoft, but Silicon Valley executives have plenty of treadmarks from trying. Schmidt is right about cloud computing and a new paradigm, but it wouldn't it make more sense to wage guerilla warfare instead of a frontal assault?

Since Schmidt has the Microsoft battle scars from Novell you'd think the frontal assault wouldn't be an option. But maybe Schmidt knows something we don't. This observer just keeps remembering those awkward Novell moments and wondering if Schmidt has become a little too cocky.

Topic: Google

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6 comments
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  • Perhaps

    But you can't blame Google for Microsoft's history of antitrust action.
    glocks out
  • But, Google has nothing to lose with Google Office either. It costs them

    very little right now compared to their income. It also forces Microsoft to react and compete in ways that makes them un-comfortable. And, who knows, Gooble may be doing this just to cause Microsoft to waste time trying to compete with everything little thing Google does.

    The real suprise that Google is working on with Mozilla engineers is an open run-time environment to replace the AJAX development model, the solution to the off-line problem, and, the ability to deploy web applications on Google appliances inside the company firewall.

    Google is in the drivers seat right now. They are able to go after anything they want and compete in any way they want.

    Microsoft employees have one hand tied behind their back, forced to use one hand to protect the twin monopolies.

    Google als has a HUGE recuiting advantage right now.
    DonnieBoy
  • Grand Moff Tarkin

    <i>"We shall then crush the rebellion with one swift stroke.." </i>
    humble99
  • What if...

    ... the cloud- and the offline-world will survive?
    See my cartoon:
    http://geekandpoke.typepad.com/geekandpoke/2006/11/cloud_vs_offlin.html

    Bye,
    Oliver
    owidder
  • Competition is a good thing

    I say that if anyone has a true chance for a full frontal assault of M$ it's Google. The bottom line is that Google is light years ahead of M$ with web based services, searching, advertising, videos, maps, gmail, well the list just goes on and on. The point of notice is that they're using open source and creating and using STANDARDS. I know thats a hard word to understand from an M$ perspective but the gavel has already fallen on the Office debate and Open Office won that fight especially since China and a Billion plus users decided that OO was their standard moving forward. It's not that M$ cant compete it's that they don't want to they would rather move the standards to their own monopoly instead of making their product meet the standard. Same with .NET after all not everyone uses Internet Exploder and many larger companies have banned it outright for being insecure. Our company spent millions on a web based app using .NET (despite my warnings) and come to find out the customer we were pursuing had banned all use of IE from desktops. So needless to say I'm enjoying contract work. Thanks M$
    stormkrow@...
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