Google's Schmidt writes off Microsoft

Eric Schmidt

Former Google CEO says he doesn't rank Microsoft amongst the four leading consumer technology companies

Google's Eric Schmidt says he doesn't consider Microsoft to be among the gang of companies that "matter most" in consumer technology.

The search firm's executive chairman and former CEO also claims Windows 8 has failed to become a "trendsetter", in a wide-ranging interview with the Wall Street Journal.

I think that Microsoft has not emerged as a trendsetter in this new model yet

When asked whether he considered Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon to be the "gang of four" companies that matter the most in consumer technology, Schmidt agreed, suggesting Microsoft's time at the top of the tech industry was in the past.

"We had never in our industry seen four network platforms of that scale," Schmidt said. "We had seen IBM, and we had seen Microsoft. But now we have four, and the resultant competition is a huge change in the industry."

When later asked what he thought of Windows 8, Schmidt replied that he hadn't tried the new OS, adding: "I think that Microsoft has not emerged as a trendsetter in this new model yet."

Apple attack

Schmidt was also pressed on Google's uneasy relationship with Apple, which has been strained by Apple's attempts to sue prominent Android handset makers such as Samsung.

The former Google CEO said it was "extremely curious that Apple has chosen to sue Google's partners and not Google itself," and suggested there was no end in sight for the numerous patent litigation battles. "It'll continue for a while. Google is doing fine. Apple is doing fine."

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