Charlie Rose interviewed Bill Gates last November on Microsoft Vista and Gary Price yesterday spotted that PBS reran the show, there is now a transcript, and the two discussed a bit about Microsoft and Search.
Here is part of the transcript (which Gary found on TVEyes):
Q: Rose asks about Web Search and Vista.
Gates: The search stuff, the way we proposed it to begin with was so totally neutral, except for some footnotes about default, that was not an issue at all. The big issue was security and document formats and various people who wanted us to take things out there. The search was not a big deal. We made that neutral from the beginning. when we first did the browser, we let you redirect to any search in fact, our percentage of search defaults, we have a huge campaign inside the company now where we’re going to convince people to change their default to www.live.com. Today, we want to put it in the hands of end users. Our competitor paid the hardware manufacturers, so most of the defaults going out are not Microsoft. Even though it’s Microsoft windows, our product, we license it, most of the defaults that go out today from Dell and others point to someone else. We’re saying instead of fighting it at that level, we’re going to go to the end user and say we have a better search. Please change it to live.com.
Charlie Rose: Microsoft, competition today. First, Google. You’re getting — I don’t want to say “getting”” because i may be wrong about this — a full-page ad saying we’re in the search business. We may have been late, but we are here. How do you see the competition between Microsoft and Google, both in terms of what they’re doing and how they’re trying to use their leverage and what leverage you have coming to the game now?
Gates: Well, I think this competition is a fun one for both companies. (laughter) You know, there’s a competition for talent. There’s a competition for innovation. Take the one area, mapping. They did some good stuff. Now we have this 3-D Virtual Earth thing that’s ahead. I’m sure they’ll come along — it’s fantastic. You know, some of these products, including the mapping stuff is completely free. You get a few billboards every once in a while that encourage you maybe to buy, some but it’s unobtrusive. So there’s going to be a huge benefit to that, that take place. They’ve done a very good job on a number of things. We have a lot of strengths we bring to it. So there’s going to be a huge benefit to that, that takes place. They’ve done a very good job on a number of things. We have a lot of strengths we bring to it. But you want two companies that are critical mass in terms of taking on very tough problems. Take language translation. It’s always been a narrow area. Now we and they are going to make that mainstream. We’re going to make it a common thing and it come backs to the extremely high-vol urj low-cost model that is magical in terms of the richness that you offer.
Charlie Rose: You have said about Google — they are more like us than anybody — certainly any challenger we’ve ever had. Why are they more like you?
Gates: Well, they’re a software company. They deliver a lot of it through the Internet, but they’re a software company and so they’re — Apple is a mix.
Charlie Rose : Software, creating — their software is creating search, yours creating operating systems primarily.
Gates: We overlap a lot. Tying — because we’re — of the things we’re both doing, The overlap will get larger over time which is — is fine. So they’re a software company. They believe in hiring smart people. It’s a key part of their culture. We didn’t have many competitors that really pushed that in a strong way. There’s differences, but a lot of similarities, too.