Microsoft responds to Larry Page remarks, but Oracle is quiet

Larry Page criticized both companies in response to questions at Google I/O, just after lamenting negativity in the tech industry

Microsoft has responded to a high-profile put-down by Google CEO Larry Page, but Oracle, at least for now, won't be drawn into a public fight with the executive.

Page criticized Microsoft and Oracle in response to questions after his keynote speech at Google's I/O developer conference in San Francisco Wednesday. Microsoft came under fire about instant messaging interoperability, while Oracle was singled out over Java.

"We've kind of had an offer forever that we'll interoperate on instant messaging," he said in response to a question. "I think just this week Microsoft took advantage of that by interoperating with us, but not doing the reverse. Which is really sad, right? And that's not the way to make progress. You need to actually have inter operation, not just people milking off one company for their own benefit."

Microsoft fired back Thursday via an emailed statement: "It's ironic that Larry is lending his voice to the discussion of interoperability considering his company's decision -- today -- to file a cease and desist order to remove the YouTube app from Windows Phone, let alone the recent decision to make it more difficult for our customers to connect their Gmail accounts to their Windows experience."

When asked about how Oracle's acquisition of Java might affect Android, he said, "I think we've had a difficult relationship with Oracle. Including having to appear in court as a result of it. So I think, again, we'd like to have a cooperative relationship with them, that hasn't seemed possible."

"And I think, again, money is probably more important to them than having any kind of collaboration or things like that. So I think that's been very difficult," he said.

Oracle declined to comment on the remarks.

CEO's criticizing competitors isn't unusual, but Page's comments came shortly after his speech in which he lamented negativity in the technology sector and said it was an inhibitor to growth.

"You know, every story I read about Google, it's kind of us versus some other company, or some stupid thing. And I just don't find that very interesting. We should be building great things that don't exist. Right? Being negative is not how we make progress," he said in the speech.

Page's comment on negativity got a round of applause from his audience -- around 6,000 of the company's developers -- but the Microsoft and Oracle comments that followed seemed guaranteed to generate just the kind of coverage he finds so uninteresting.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

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