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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Dear Eric Schmidt, Shut. Up.

"...this is of the scale of 20 years ago -- Microsoft versus Apple,” said Eric Schmidt. “We’re winning that war pretty clearly now.

The comment from a recent interview is so loaded, and annoying, it actually made me cringe. Its a fucking shame such a stupid interview followed such an inspiring one from Larry Page.

I am a fan of Google.  When Google was being shitted on earlier this year (by everyone), I felt like the lone defender. Many of the tech luminaries were literally saying Google was the new Microsoft. I found myself defending the ridiculous claims over-and-over again.

Yet, here we are, the Chairman of Google has embraced the Microsoft comparison!

Schmidt has embraced the comparison of a stagnant, copy-cat company, that can barely drive the tech sector forward without the help of a true market leader.

Google is no Microsoft.  Android is no Windows. The comparison of 20 years ago is non-existent. A very lazy person ignores the differences in the hardware economies of today vs 20 years ago. A lazy person ignores the difference in hardware refresh cycle of today vs 20 years ago. A lazy person ignores the 'bring-your-own-device' philosophy sweeping corporate culture effectively destroying the 'forced' use of any OS that was a staple 20 years ago.

As for "we are winning the war pretty clearly now", Android took a hit since the iPhone 5. As of late Oct, there are numbers that suggest Android lost 16% share to iOS in the US. (That's "clearly" winning.)

The reality is that Google is still more vulnerable than Apple during the evolution of mobile computing. Google needs to embrace Apple more due to the above. (Android is good, but not best of breed. Consumers, especially consumers in mature markets, are choosing best of breed.)  A one percent move in Apple market share is a powerful multi billion dollar effect. (Oh, Apple global share has increased from 3.9 to 5.5%.)  Google's quarterly reports indicate a 70% share has no where near the same effect as Apple's 3.9% share.

The numbers do not suggest Google is winning anything. The numbers mean Google has to re-adjust their business model in mobile. Lucky for Schmidt, even those that hate his comments, can see Google shifting their mobile strategy to mimic a company that is "losing". (Motorola unloads most manufacturing capacity, which will lead to better margins.)

Google is very lucky to have Larry Page in charge at this stage of transition.

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