In a short press conference after his appearance at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco today, Google CEO Eric Schmidt refused to comment directly on the improved Facebook’s new Messages features, saying he didn’t know enough about the product yet. But he did officially welcome the competition, saying it would grow the market for everyone.
“As a group, you all [the media] are focused on the competition, as opposed to the fact that the market is getting larger,” Schmidt said. “There’s no question that more entrants to communications technology, mobile technologies and so forth bring more people in…. We’re all served by having everybody get online.” (We’ve dinged Schmidt in the past for his many creepy statements on privacy; today, however, the CEO was relentlessly on message.)
Earlier in the day, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg gave his own props to Google, saying their Gmail messaging service–the combination of Gmail and GChat–is “a great product.” Could this be the beginning of a detente between the two companies? Things looked testy between them a few months back when Zuckerberg hailed Microsoft’s Bing as more innovative than the search incumbent, Google.