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Bill Gates chuckles at Google Apps

'I barely remember the name'

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Bill Gates has no respect for Google Apps.

Speaking yesterday at a Sharepoint conference up Redmond way, the lame duck Microsoft chairman told loyal Microsoftees that Eric Schmidt and company "really don't understand the special needs of business." So we learn from Todd Bishop's Microsoft Blog.

The Googlies, Gates said, understand nothing but keywords. And he couldn't help but insist that Microsoft is well on its way to understanding keywords too. "Today, their economic model is based on consumer search," he said. "They have done an incredible job there and obviously we're investing in challenging them in that space..."

But whereas Microsoft can challenge Google, Bill explained, Google can't challenge Microsoft. "If you've seen...the Google tools that have tried to do productivity type things, they really don't have the richness, the responsiveness," he said. "Most of these Google products, to be frank, the day they announce them is their best day and then after that..."

Google products are so bad, he insisted, he doesn't even remember them. Except when he does. "I remember there was one called G Talk. I can barely remember the name but it was so, you know, it was going to change the world, and so, you know, it's healthy that there are many choices that people have here."

You know.®

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Meanwhile, Google CEO Eric Schmidt would rather not discuss Google Apps - or almost anything else. Last week, News.comer Elinor Mills flew cross country so that Schmidt could refuse to mention any anything but Google's new health, um, service. All we can say is that we get much the same treatment from the Mountain Viewers - and yes, we think Google has a lot to hide. But more on that later.

Keep your chin up, Elinor. Where the The Reg is concerned, even Google Health is off-limits.

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