Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer criticised rival Google, saying it is devoted primarily to ad-supported search while Microsoft has reinvented itself many times over.
In a presentation on Thursday at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University, Ballmer says a truly entrepreneurial company invents something, builds a business around it and then starts the cycle again. But Google hasn't yet emerged beyond ad-supported search, he claims.
"They're really just one business, a search and advertising business," he says, although he gave Google credit for reaching the US$10 billion revenue mark quicker than Microsoft did.
However, Microsoft began selling desktop software, particularly its Windows operating system, then created software to run servers, moved into the internet space with its Internet Explorer Web browser and MSN Search, and more recently, moved into consumer electronics with its Xbox video gaming system.
In a brief interview with IDG News Service after his presentation, Ballmer acknowledged that Google's 2006 acquisition of the video sharing web site YouTube might qualify as a second entrepreneurial wave for Google.
"They're trying to make it into a second one, that's right and we'll see how they do," he said. "Bravo to them [for] trying to start a second business. But it's a related business, it's not a completely second [one]."