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Google CEO Eric Schmidt says “the worst is behind us” and that Google (GOOG) has “begun seriously looking at acquisitions again.”In an interview with the Nikkei, Eric said Google is looking at acquisitions to expand its cloud computing business. It wants venture-stage firms with potential for growth.
Schmidt predicted “the personal computer era” would give way to “the age of cloud computing” over the next 10 to 15 years.
We’re still hazy on what “cloud-computing” means, but we think this means Google is interested in companies that will help it develop and deploy Web applications ranging from Google Docs to the upcoming Chrome OS.
Google’s angle: The more people use Web-based software the more they’ll search the Web and click on Google’s search ads.
Also, if people are using Web-based apps, they’re relying less on local operating systems like Windows, sold by Google’s only remaing search rival, Microsoft (MSFT).
Last month, Google acquired last On2 Technologies Inc., which makes video compression software.