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He's both right and wrong.
He's definately right when it comes to Bing, being a formidable competitor in the search space. Bing has added innovative features to its search, which is copied by Google in some instances. As Schmidt says: “Bing is a highly competitive searchengine that is well-run.”
Schmidt is absolutely wrong when it comes to Facebook. Facebook is not an end, like Google. It's a means, a social means which is so diffused, companies can't and should not try to get around it. The Web is getting more and more socialized, and that's something Google has proven not to be capable of.
The closer cooperation between Microsoft and Facebook means killing two birds with one stone, setting Google back one more step. The two birds are in this case the social touch of Search and having a social network that competes with Google's non-existing one.
Bing simply made a brilliant move by socializing their Search, it can and will compete with Google TV's efforts of bringing the Web to the TV. Bing approaches search from a more social point of perspective. Google sticks to its data point of perspective, which will break them up at one point.
Google's social efforts are dissapointing, time after time and instead of trying to create something new, Bing incorporates the biggest global social network into its search results. Bing understands the power of interoperability and the invested time and energy of users in their Facebook profiles. As elaborated in the Facebook TV: The centralised and decentralised social enabler for TV article, companies need to co-create with Facebook instead of opposing it. Multiple digital identities is not what users want. Companies need to integrate Facebook's Social Graph and enhance their own proposition by it.
In a Search augmented TV point of perspective, a "Facebook TV" concept becomes more and more reality, recommending content based upon social and data algorithms.
Yes, Bing is a powerful and innovative competitor and Yes, Facebook is definately a (non-standard) competitor that in combination with Bing is able to achieve experiences that Google has difficulty with to create. The statistics saying that Facebook now is more popular than Google are stating that social media is winning the online game. Americans are spending more time on Facebook than with Google.
I state it once more: Social media is winning the online game.
Bing has been constantly in the news with its innovations, I -for one- am looking forward how they will surprise and innovate the Connected- and Social TV space!