Google Inc. (GOOG) Dissing Microsoft Corporation (MSFT)?

Google Inc.Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) has made it pretty clear that it has been aiming to take its share of the tech market away from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), and it has had been involved in a number of legal battles over patents. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), meanwhile, has been a competitor of Apple Inc. (AAPL) for nearly 30 years, developing its own brand of software and services that have made a significant impact in the enterprise space and created a loyal consumer base.

However, Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) executive Eric Schmidt did an interview with a tech blog site recently and placed his company in a “Gang of Four” with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB). So where is Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) in the conversation? “It’s a well-run company,” he said, “but they don’t make state-of-the-art products.”

In other words, that is a no, it does not belong with the other four. How come? According to Schmidt, it’s because Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has been late to the innovation party in many areas – which likely includes mobile operating systems and Web search, among others.

Microsoft CorporationHowever, an article by Jared Newman of TechHive considers the idea that it might not be smart to take Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) too lightly. Mr. Newman does concede that Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) has been on the front of a lot of innovation in recent years, and that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has been late to the party in search, Web browsing and mobile technology. However, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has been working diligently in recent years to develop a proprietary ecosystem similar to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) with the goal of having services transcend across all devices – PCs, tablets, phones and televisions.

Meanwhile, Newman suggests that Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) may be lacking a vision, with failres of Google TV and a seemingly disjointed Chrome OS for tablets and Android for smartphones. And Newman says because of that, blowing off Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) may be a bit premature as we enter a new era of mobile computing. But Schmidt’s bravado is interesting, and how investors in both Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) – like billionaire fund managers Julian Robertson of Tiger Management and David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital – will perceive his comments might be interesting. What do you think? Do you agree with Schmidt or not?