The biggest thing at the Condé Nast Portfolio mag lunch yesterday was not the three-tiered dessert trays (we’re sure there’s some frou-frou name like “pinafore” but we’re not fancy enough to tell you what it is for yummy little pastries no bigger than a stiletto heel tip).
Nor was the biggest thing anything that Google’s Eric Schmidt said. As a big company CEO, it’s his job to not announce anything before it’s announceable, certainly not in front of a room full of New York business magazine journalists. Journalists he pointedly praised for not being all rushy and bloggy “all sorts of people trying to do all sorts of things quickly, poorly, business coverage, the rise of blogging and so forth and so on,” as compared to the “best, highest standards” giving people the “time to do the research … figure out what’s right, what’s wrong” as a monthly like Portfolio should be able to do.
But we did promise to tell you more than the table scraps we threw out yesterday on what happened, and so, here’s some of what struck us about Schmidt’s remarks, which you can now see for yourself on the Portfolio website (though you can’t see some of the questions and answers, ours noted below included):
Microsoft has been portrayed in the media in extreme terms: the “good” Microsoft that drives the software and PC industry, creates jobs and leads America’s recovery, and the “bad” Microsoft whose monopolistic practices drive competitors out of markets and stifle innovation. In reality, both stereotypes are accurate.
Substitute “Google” in there, and you can see why Portfolio ed-in-chief Joanne Lipman pointed the story out. Same here:
Microsoft’s role and power in the industry are stunning. No other company could routinely release such weak first versions of its products, then use its own customers as a test group for revisions until it gets a fully working product.
Can you say “Google Mail”? As in the product we all use, but which is still in beta testing mode, giving Google an out whenever it’s not really working the way we like, even though it’s usually about the best free email out there. (Yahoo’s beta mail product is also pretty darn good.)
Want more coverage? His thoughts on the whole China thing, and what-not? Search for it. On GoogleNews of course.