Tech companies often possess opinions about each other which they won’t shy away from sharing when the time is right. Take Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella for instance. At an on-stage interview at Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech Conference last evening, Nadella had something to say about Google.
Nadella had a Q&A session with the biographer Walter Isaacson (who some of you may recall as the author of the Steve Jobs biography). After the Q&A session, an attendee asked Nadella what Microsoft’s research group could learn from Google, especially the amount of attention it gets from projects like Google Glass, driverless cars, etc.
“Look, it’s always good to learn from others who have done a better job of marketing themselves,” Nadella stated, praising Google’s marketing. And Nadella isn’t wrong either. Google does a better job at marketing.
And just because you see advertisements everywhere, doesn’t necessarily mean that Google is doing great work. Take the example of Microsoft’s project Alice, if you will. The company is supposedly making the tech available to visually challenged people. It’s hard to recall any similar projects which were as noble as this one. Skype Translate comes to mind.
As Nadella said himself, Microsoft Research projects are working on creating big business opportunities inside the company, which may not get as much traction as Google projects do. One example of such a project is Microsoft’s in-memory database business, which the company built all by itself. It’s a $6 billion business that is doing quite well, he said.
However, Satya graciously told the attendee that his “point is well taken” and the company could definitely do something to “get more mainstream impact” for its Microsoft Research efforts.