In an interview with Portfolio, Eric Schmidt reiterated Google’s absurd fear-mongering about the Microsoft-Yahoo deal (MSFT) (YHOO). His rhetoric wasn’t quite as extreme as Google’s previous remarks about the combo, however. And Schmidt then went on to say many smart, reasonable things.
The concentration of Microsoft’s resources and its history, combined with the very large share that it would have in certain applications—like instant messaging and email—that could be used essentially to break the internet and diminish choice.
Break the internet?
All internet-based systems today are highly interoperable, open systems. The whole antitrust trial that Microsoft went through was really about it breaking that.
On the Irony of Google Railing Against Anyone With “Very Large Market Share”
[Our goal is] to prevent what happened at Microsoft from happening at Google. Consumers have had more choice on the internet. And we have a set of policies that we follow—entrenched inside the culture—the most important of which is that we won’t trap user data in proprietary systems. So we have a rule: You have to make it possible for people who don’t like your service to get out. If I don’t like Google, I can switch to Yahoo, Microsoft, or whatever. This has another impact that’s not as obvious. It serves as a check and balance on poor-quality teams. They can’t prevent users from fleeing bad products. It also helps us with this question of becoming too big and powerful.
On How the DoubleClick Scrutiny Was Actually Good For Google
When you’re inside a company, you have your own belief system. It’s always good to get a look at how your company is perceived versus what your self-perception is.
On the Likelihood That Google Will Have to Fire People in a Recession
I think that’s unlikely.
On the Tenure of the Google Workforce in Certain Countries
We expanded so fast internationally that we have a lot of countries in which the oldest person by tenure has been there a year.
On Buying The New York Times:
No. [Our paraphrase]
On Why Android [Mobile Operating System] Exists:
Most of the older mobile operating systems were not really designed for modern Web use. They don’t run the internet applications right. Many companies are looking for an inexpensive, Web-based operating system for their upcoming mobile devices that’s based on open systems—Linux, in this case. [Android] has a full browser, it has Java support, and it’s being marketed to the software developers to build new applications. We don’t know what a lot of those are going to be, but the most interesting ones will probably combine social activity and location.
On an Example of a “Location-Based Social App”
I saw a freaky demo of an application in which you and I have phones with maps, and our phones find each other and tell us where to meet.