Google Chairman Eric Schmidt has been a nonstop quote machine ever since he handed the CEO role to Larry Page, and the hits kept coming this morning at CES: he told CNET's Molly Wood that "Microsoft's trapped in an architectural transition problem they may not get through." It's not exactly clear if Schmidt was talking about Microsoft adding support for ARM processors in Windows 8 or the broader transition to Windows Phone, but it's interesting that he thinks either initiative presents an existential crisis for Microsoft — and presumably an opportunity for Google.
Schmidt also addressed concerns about Android fragmentation, saying that "differentiation is positive, fragmentation is negative," and "what people really care about is an interoperable ecosystem of apps." That's a reasonable take, although by that definition there's at least a little fragmentation going on — there are plenty of games that don't work consistently across Android devices, Netflix is certified per-device, and major services like Skype were launched exclusively on Verizon first. Schmidt also said Google's "core strategy" is to move the Android ecosystem entirely on to Ice Cream Sandwich — and we've definitely seen quite a few Android 4.0 devices at CES, although all phones launched here are still running Gingerbread. We'll see how fast the carriers and OEMs can roll out all their promised ICS updates — and god, we hope Eric Schmidt keeps wandering around and saying things.