Google's Schmidt dings Bing

Google CEO Eric Schmidt, as one might expect, offered no public sense that Microsoft's new Bing search engine has him pacing the halls at night.
"It's not the first entry for Microsoft. They do this about once a year," Schmidt said Tuesday in an interview with Fox Business Network. "I don't think Bing's arrival has changed what we're doing. We are about search, we're about making things enormously successful, by virtue of innovation."

Bing has been well-received in its first trip around the Internet, but it obviously has an awfully long way to go before it makes a dent in Google's business. Still, with some in the search industry now wondering if Yahoo really intends to compete in search over the next few years, Bing may shape up as the only true alternative to Google.

Schmidt seemed to acknowledge those thoughts. "Google is about getting all the information and organizing it. Yahoo has a different strategy. We think ultimately Bing will evolve to a different strategy as well."

Earlier in the day, Google Chief Financial Officer Patrick Pachette said the company planned to hold "a review tomorrow on it with the executive committee," so it's not like Google is ignoring the possible threat, either.

Schmidt held forth on a wide range of topics during the interview, including:

• Yahoo: "As you know we got within an hour of doing a very deep partnership with Yahoo, but we were unable to do it because of the government and their concerns over various parts of the deal."

• Smartphones: "This is the year of mobile phones. What we like is every one of these has a powerful browser and every one is used to search."

• And Google's new plug-in for Outlook: "I grew up with Outlook as well, which is why we're doing these things. It's very important to bridge the new kind of customer, the young customer, with the existing customer that has grown up with the Microsoft infrastructure."

BY Tom Krazit

Tom Krazit writes about the ever-expanding world of Internet search, including Google, Yahoo, online advertising, and portals, as well as the evolution of mobile computing. He has written about traditional PC companies, chip manufacturers, and mobile computers, spending the last three years covering Apple.

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