In Dis, Microsoft Suggests Google Isn’t Trustworthy

TechFlash has a great interview up right now with Dan’l Lewin, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of strategic and business development, among whose chief responsibilities it is to identify which Silicon Valley startups Microsoft should acquire.

The interview is wide-ranging, but the most provocative questions and answers center on how Microsoft is perceived today in the Valley as compared with Google.

TechFlash: How would you describe the current state of Microsoft’s relationship with Silicon Valley?

Lewin: I think we have reasonably well acclimated and normalized our relationship, as any large company has a relationship with startups. Consistent, ongoing, basic interaction has been the operating premise for eight years. The routine is, we respond. So the relationship there is predictable.

TechFlash: Part of the problem when you came on was that Microsoft was seen as this big, intimidating force. Is Google the new boogeyman?

Lewin: I think Google presents a set of challenges for the startup and the venture world.

TechFlash: Like what?

Lewin: Well, if you think about Microsoft, our platform assets are what people have to work in and around. You either bet on them, work with them, and we help you — because that’s in our vested interest — or you work around them. … If we’re predictable about where we can be helpful and why, or not, it becomes really clear how to work with us. … The predictablity of how you interact with the organization has a lot to do with trust, and so I think we’ve developed a fair amount of trust. Ask others how much they trust their interaction with Google vs. how much they trust their interaction with us. It’s how you behave and what your business model is that makes that behavior ring true.

Those are fighting words. it’s on, baby. For more of the interview, click here.