Last evening we saw a reserved Larry Page talk a bit about Google, mobile, and all manner of tech. In contrast, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt always has plenty to say. He sat down with Bloomberg and talked about the economy, taxes (Google pays plenty, but has no shame about trying to pay as little as possible), and growth in the mobile sector. The economy and taxes are topics I don't have the expertise or nerve to tackle, but mobile talk gets me interested.
Demand for Android is at an all-time high. the last numbers from Gartner show that Google holds 72-percent of the market, and the number keeps growing -- with 1.3 million devices activated every day we expect huge numbers. Schmidt compares this with the desktop race of the 1990's between Microsoft and Apple, with Google being the clear winner.
This is a huge platform change; this is of the scale of 20 years ago; Microsoft versus Apple. We’re winning that war pretty clearly now. The core strategy is to make a bigger pie. We will end up with a not perfectly controlled and not perfectly managed bigger pie by virtue of open systems.
By giving the Android source code away, Google is guaranteeing that there will be an abundance of devices running software that is compatible with their most lucrative service -- information gathering. Much fuss is made about the data Google gets from users, but they make no bones about what they collect, how they use it, and how you can have it all deleted. In return, we get great products (like Android devices) and awesome services (like Gmail). It's a situation that has treated Google well.
It's also clear that Google is riding the wave of Android's success, even though devices sold don't directly equate to profit from sales. As Schmidt puts it like only he can, Google is winning.