Eric Schmidt may have stepped down as Google CEO in 2011, but he hasn't been any less vocal in his current role as executive chairman. Schmidt is known for his outspoken views and often provocative statements on just about everything in the technology world — follow this StoryStream to keep track of them all.
Mar 21, 2013
Clearly Eric Schmidt had plenty to say about Apple during Google's Big Tent summit earlier today. After crediting the company as a "tremendous technology innovator," Schmidt addressed the recent rumors of Google Now — among Android's most beloved features — making its way to iOS. Last week, a supposed promotional video surfaced on the web, showcasing an unreleased version of Google's Search app with Google Now functionality baked in.Read Article >
The clip certainly looked authentic, and Schmidt didn't dismiss the idea of bringing a major Android differentiator over to Apple's platform. In fact, he vaguely hinted that Google is trying to do just that, but implied the necessary update to Search is currently caught up in approval limbo. Asked directly when Google Now may arrive on iPhone, the chairman said “you’ll need to discuss that with Apple. Apple has a policy of approving or disapproving apps that are submitted into its store, and some of the apps we make they approve and some of them they don't." Schmidt couldn't help but take a shot at Apple's walled garden, chiding "they recently did approve Google Maps, thank goodness." He later declined to get into specifics on the Google Now situation. To hear the comments for yourself, skip to the 17:50 mark at the source below.
Mar 21, 2013
Google's Eric Schmidt sees Apple as a "tremendous innovator," even if he's not above taking some digs at the iPad. At Google's Big Tent event in India, Schmidt briefly assessed his competitors in a question and answer session. "I'm a BlackBerry user, because I like the keyboard," he said, though he acknowledged that BlackBerry was "slowly in trouble." But while he'd pick a BlackBerry over a Kindle, he says, Amazon is in better shape. "Amazon has well passed any of the expectations of its ability to change distribution and marketing. They're an important Google partner, and I think compete with us as well."Read Article >
Mar 21, 2013
Google chairman Eric Schmidt has squashed rumors that the company will merge its Android and Chrome operating systems, telling attendees at Google's Big Tent event in India that the two platforms are "certainly going to remain separate for a very long time, because they solve different problems." The denial comes after Google unveiled a new Chrome Android statue on its Mountain View campus and announced its executive reshuffle, where Google VP of Chrome and Apps, Sundar Pichai, replaced Andy Rubin as the head of Android, prompting speculation that the two platforms would unite.Read Article >
Mar 19, 2013
Following a visit to North Korea, Eric Schmidt has continued his impromptu pan-Asia internet freedom tour with a focus on India. In an op-ed written for The Times of India, Schmidt lays out the opportunity facing the world's largest democracy. "Now is the moment for India to decide what kind of internet it wants for them" Schmidt writes. "An open internet that benefits all or a highly regulated one that inhibits innovation." It's not a new line of thought for the Google executive, who has ramped up rhetoric on internet freedom in recent years, but it's a message that both Schmidt and Google find increasingly important as the company wades deeper into national and international policy issues.Read Article >
India may not boast the most repressive regime of internet control compared to its neighbors in the region, but the country has worked to censor offensive content on the web. Some of the Indian government's measures, including commercially-driven attempts to block copyright infringement, have sparked protests in the country. And Google, Facebook, and other companies have had to defend against lawsuits for allegedly violating Indian laws that prohibit "depraved or corrupt" works. The companies have resisted demands to screen content before it's posted, with a Google India advocate saying in court last year that "the right to freedom of speech in democratic India separates us from a totalitarian regime like China."
Feb 1, 2013
The relationship between Google and China has grown increasingly contentious, and in a new book former CEO Eric Schmidt reportedly has some harsh words for the country. The Wall Street Journal reports that it has seen preliminary galleys of The New Digital Age, written by Schmidt and Google Ideas director Jared Cohen. In the book, the pair reportedly call China "the world's most active and enthusiastic filterer of information" — something Google has had to deal with firsthand in recent years. The book also states that China operates "sophisticated and prolific" hacking campaigns targeting foreign companies. Concerns about the latter have been a particular point of focus this week, with both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal reporting that they had recently been infiltrated by hacking attacks; both targets said they traced their attackers to China.Read Article >
The concerns are raised in the context of global competition; the book warns that with an increasing dependence on digital communication and commerce, the Chinese government's alleged willingness to participate in cyber attacks could give the country economic and political advantages. "The disparity between American and Chinese firms and their tactics will put both the government and the companies of the United States as a distinct disadvantage," the book reportedly reads, with Schmidt and Cohen warning that the US will not be able to take advantage of the same tactics due to the US legal system and "sense of fair play."
Jan 23, 2013
Steve Jobs threatened patent litigation if Palm wouldn’t agree to stop hiring Apple employees, says former Palm CEO Edward Colligan in a statement dated August 7th, 2012. The allegation is backed up by a trove of recently-released evidence that shows just how deeply Silicon Valley's no-hire agreements pervaded in the mid-2000s. Apple, Google, Intel, and others are the focus of a civil lawsuit into the "gentleman’s agreements," in which affected employees are fighting for class action status and damages from resulting lost wages, potentially reaching into the hundreds of millions of dollars.Read Article >
In his statement, Colligan says he received a call from Jobs in August of 2007, expressing concern about Palm’s hiring of Apple employees. He goes on to say that Jobs "proposed an arrangement between Palm and Apple" that would stop the practice, also suggesting that "if Palm did not agree to such an agreement, Palm could face lawsuits alleging infringement of Apple’s many patents." Colligan later responded in an email, suggesting that any such agreement would likely be illegal and that Palm had patents of its own that it could use to countersue. Jobs replied, writing, "I’m sure you realize the asymmetry in the financial resources of our respective companies when you say: ‘We will both just end up paying a lot of lawyers a lot of money.’"
Jan 20, 2013
Eric Schmidt's daughter reports on creepy North Korea trip, says the country is like 'The Truman Show'
After returning from a private mission to North Korea, Eric Schmidt says he sternly warned North Korean officials that their country risks falling further behind economically without a connection to the global internet, but didn't elaborate much further on the trip. Schmidt's daughter Sophie was also with the delegation, and in a lengthy Google Sites post titled "It might not get weirder than this," she describes a trip full of "highly staged encounters, tightly-orchestrated viewings and what seemed like genuine human moments." Sophie Schmidt writes that the North Koreans are "hostages in their own country, without any real consciousness of it," and says the best description the delegation could come up with is that "it's like The Truman Show, at country scale."Read Article >
Schmidt says her father invited her to accompany the private delegation, which included former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, and the group's mission was originally unclear — Reuters reported that plans could have included an attempt to negotiate for the release of an imprisoned American citizen. While Schmidt's report doesn't confirm or deny that claim, it does offer a number of colorful details about her experience in the secretive nation. Some are based on facts already known; for example, an AP report described the delegation's visit to a college computer lab. But Schmidt adds color to the encounter; she depicts a creepy atmosphere at the Kim Il Sung University e-Library (or as she calls it, the "e-Potemkin Village"), with multiple floors of identically manned desks of people doing practically nothing. "A few scrolled or clicked, but the rest just stared," she writes. "More disturbing: when our group walked in — a noisy bunch, with media in tow — not one of them looked up from their desks. Not a head turn, no eye contact, no reaction to stimuli. They might as well have been figurines."
Jan 10, 2013
Eric Schmidt has continued pushing for internet access in North Korea during his trip to the region, where many citizens are restricted to a tightly controlled domestic intranet service, Bloomberg reports. "As the world becomes increasingly connected, their decision to be virtually isolated is very much going to affect their physical world," Schmidt told reporters after visiting the North Korean capital. "The government has to do something — they have to make it possible for people to use the internet, which the government in North Korea has not yet done. It is time now for them to start, or they will remain behind."Read Article >
Schmidt continued on to say that North Korea's most popular cellphone network — which has about one million phones — could easily be reconfigured to allow subscribers access to the internet. "It would be very easy for them to turn that on." Schmidt has been very clear that his visit is "not a Google trip," and while his private discussions in the country will likely remain so, the public face of his trip so far has been limited to promoting a free internet for North Korean citizens. While Schmidt's efforts in Korea were focused on promoting internet access, he was accompanied by former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, who was trying to secure the release of a detained American tourist. Unfortunately, Reuters reports that Richardson was unable to meet with the tourist and left the country without ensuring his release from captivity.
Dec 17, 2012Read Article >
Recently, Stephen Colbert swung by Google’s New York Office for a turn as interviewee at the hand of chairman Eric Schmidt. After opening with an esoteric question about what the title of Colbert’s newest book means — it’s called America Again: Re-Becoming the Greatness we Never Weren’t — the conversation moves on to the infamous Bush White House Correspondents Dinner and the differences between Colbert the man and Colbert the character. The comedian lets the truthiness fly when Schmidt jokingly tries to cajole him into starting a YouTube show, saying "does that violate my contract with Viacom to have that? You guys had a billion-dollar lawsuit against each other, you realize. And Sumner Redstone would rather see your head on a stick." Check the video below for the full talk.
Google chairman Eric Schmidt is on stage now at The New York Times Dealbook Conference and just had a few details to share about the Google Fiber broadband initiative. Despite the fact that the service is only available in Kansas City right now, Schmidt said that it wasn't "just an experiment, it's a real business and we're trying to decide where to expand next." Unfortunately no more details were forthcoming, but for those of us looking at the speeds Google Fiber users get with extreme envy, there's some hope that we may some day get to share in the extreme speed.Read Article >
Schmidt also took advantage of a question from the audience to spell out Google's stance on the ITU proposals that could give the UN greater power in regulating the internet. "If the current proposals in the ITU go through, we're in big trouble globally," Schmidt said. Of course, Google has made its stance on the ITU very clear — Google's chairman appears to just be keeping up with the party line here.
Google's chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt feels pretty confident about Android's place in the smartphone market right now, particularly in relation to Apple. In an interview with Bloomberg, Schmidt said that "we're winning that war pretty clearly now." He also compared the situation to Microsoft and Apple's battle for PC dominance several decades ago, with Google obviously taking the role of Microsoft as it begins to pull away from Apple thanks to its many hardware partners. Google's still activating some 1.3 million Android devices daily, the same number Schmidt cited back in September at the Motorola / Verizon press conference announcing the Droid RAZR M and Droid RAZR HD.Read Article >
Schmidt did acknowledge how Google's open model for Android ceded revenue to partners like Samsung, but said it played into the "core strategy," which is "to make a bigger pie." He also noted that there are some downsides to that strategy, saying that "we will end up with a not perfectly controlled and not perfectly managed bigger pie by virtue of open systems."
Dec 5, 2012
If you've been left a little nonplussed by Apple's lawsuits against Android hardware manufacturers, Google chairman Eric Schmidt is wondering the same thing. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Schmidt said it's "extremely curious that Apple has chosen to sue Google's partners and not Google itself." Apple recently settled its patent disputes with HTC out of court, and most famously won a protracted legal battle against Samsung earlier this year.Read Article >
However, it's not too hard to see Apple's motivations. Samsung is the company making the most money directly from Android with its hugely successful line of products, many of which were found to infringe various Apple patents, and it's in Cupertino's interest to stop that happening where possible. In court, Apple produced a 132-page internal report from Samsung that directly encouraged its designers to take cues from the iPhone.
Oct 11, 2012
Google chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt is bullish on his company's chances to beat Apple in what he called a "platform fight." Speaking with All Things D yesterday, Schmidt said that Android vs. Apple is the industry's "defining contest," and one that Google is currently winning despite a lack of clarity on how much money Android is generating. Schmidt points out that there are four times more Android phones than iPhones and, with 1.3 million activations per day, the company will have activated one billion mobile devices within a year.Read Article >
Schmidt knows that Apple has the resources to compete with Google, however, and says the benefit of the intensifying competition between the two companies will only benefit the consumer. Talking on the subject of mobile maps, he says that Apple is now discovering that "maps are really hard," opining that "Apple should've kept our maps... They're better."
Oct 2, 2012
Google chairman Eric Schmidt was one of the few West Coast representatives at a private summit of tech leaders hosted by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Bloomberg Philanthropies yesterday. The topic at hand: how New York and the US can "keep the edge" in tech innovation.Read Article >
After the off-the-record conversation, which was reportedly interesting but not immediately actionable, Schmidt joined Mayor Bloomberg for a press conference. Faced with reporters and cameras at the headquarters of a New York startup, Boxee, the chairman proceeded to talk up Silicon Alley — and Mayor Bloomberg.
Sep 27, 2012
Google chairman Eric Schmidt is currently on a tour of East Asia; he launched the Nexus 7 in Tokyo two days ago, and today made a similar announcement in Seoul. It looks like he's found the time to slip in a little pleasure among all the business, though, meeting with South Korean artist PSY — he of the YouTube record-breaking smash hit "Gangnam Style." And yes, he got down with the galloping horse dance. Hankyung journalist Kim Kwang-hyun immortalized the moment in a tweet, and there's further video evidence below. We're a little surprised to see Schmidt let his hair down in such a fashion, but if this leads to more K-Pop on Google Play Music we're all for it.Read Article >
Update: the video has been removed from YouTube, but we've replaced it with another.
Sep 25, 2012
Before Eric Schmidt left Google’s Nexus 7 event in Tokyo today, he passed some bad news on to the iPhone users in attendance. When asked if Google had in fact submitted a new native Google Maps for App Store approval, Schmidt denied the rumor, saying, “we have not done anything yet,” reports Reuters. Apple’s decision to replace Google Maps with its own mapping service in the recently-released iOS 6 has proved awkward, with many users complaining of missing information, inaccurate labeling, and problems with the new 3D Flyover mode. While The Loop threw cold water on the idea last week, many users hoped that a replacement for the missing Google Maps app was in the works.Read Article >
Update: Reuters has softened the tone of its original report which is now disputed by Bloomberg. Bloomberg says that Schmidt declined to say whether Google submitted its Maps app for Apple approval. Instead it quotes him saying, "We haven’t done anything yet with Google Maps," adding that Apple would "have to approve it. It’s their choice." The updated Reuters piece now quotes the Google chairman saying that Google and Apple are in constant communication at "all kinds of levels," while appearing to say that the decision to remove Google Maps from iOS was Apple's alone. "We think it would have been better if they had kept ours. But what do I know?" Schmidt said in Tokyo. "What were we going to do, force them not to change their mind? It's their call."
Sep 25, 2012
The move continues Google's effort to expand beyond its home base of the United States, following a recent push into Europe. This is an area where Apple thrives and Amazon consistently stumbles, with seemingly no-one able to match Cupertino's global reach. Japan is a potentially huge market for Google and Play Books in particular, with a large, affluent population that has so far proven difficult to crack in terms of ebooks. Amazon has announced plans to launch Kindle products in Japan, but they have so far failed to materialize, and the most credible competitor to date is Rakuten's recently-launched Kobo Touch.Read Article >
Surprisingly, in launching Play Books in Japan Google has even managed to beat out Apple, whose Japanese iBookstore remains a public domain wasteland over two years after opening. The Nexus 7 is a strong product at an undeniably attractive price point and, coupled with a library of Japanese-language content, could well catch Apple by surprise. Japan's fragmented publishing houses are notoriously conservative and make it difficult to secure rights deals, but from all appearances Apple hasn't even made the effort. While literary giants such as Haruki Murakami are predictably absent from Play Books for now, Google's selection could well expand if the Nexus 7 succeeds — not to mention Play Books on the countless Android devices already out there in Japan.
Jul 14, 2012
During last Thursday's Allen & Company technology conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, Google's Eric Schmidt spoke about the company's growing role as a hardware producer. According to the New York Times, Schmidt proudly demonstrated the Nexus Q and Nexus 7 tablet while stating that — even now — Google is not a "hardware company."Read Article >
However, that doesn't mean that Google isn't embracing a more hardware-centric business model. Apple's software services, like iCloud, are being delivered in the guise of consumer-targeted products while Google has traditionally opted to let third parties create physical products. Schmidt indicated that Google is ready to embrace a more hands-on approach to consumer products, saying that Google co-founders "Larry and Sergey have always wanted to do hardware in one form or another."
Jun 22, 2012
The unusual stock split (and Larry Page's lost voice) isn't the only news to come out of Google's shareholder meeting. Speaking to said shareholders, CFO Patrick Pichette reiterated Google's intention to hold Motorola at arm's length and allow it to "stay on its own battlefield." Just as that messaging is not at all different from what Google broadcasted before the acquisition was completed and the new CEO installed, it looks like major shakeups at Motorola won't happen as quickly or as rashly as the original decision to purchase the company appeared.Read Article >
In fact, Google says that we "shouldn't expect a full integration," the AFP reports. Eric Schmidt characterized it as essentially "taking Motorola private," presumably so that it could focus on Android. Schmidt added "We bought Motorola for the sum of the patents, the products, the people, the innovation." We're sure that Motorola's employees and fans all hope that he wasn't speaking in descending order of importance.
May 24, 2012Read Article >
Everyone is keeping a very close eye on what Google does with Motorola Mobility — not the least of which are Android manufacturers like Samsung, HTC, and LG, which are concerned that the acquisition will put them at a disadvantage if Motorola gets insider access to the latest builds of the operating system. We still know very little about Google's plans — we've heard rumors that it was considering selling the handset business to Huawei and the cable box unit to another suitor — but today The Guardian quoted executive chairman Eric Schmidt saying that Motorola will have "more investment in products and a lot more focus on Android and the tools even than they have today." That statement lines up well with longtime Google executive and newly-appointed Motorola Mobilty CEO Dennis Woodside's assurances that "Google has always been interested in hardware" and that "my job is to make Motorola as successful as possible and deliver innovative hardware as a licensee of Android." Google may not know what to do with the hardware manufacturer's cable box and other consumer device units, but for now it looks like the search company intends to make Motorola's smartphone business successful again — it just better be sure to maintain that "firewall" between itself and Motorola if it hopes to keep Android OEMs happy.
Apr 24, 2012
It's a day packed full of legal fun with Google's Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt following immediately on the heals of Andy Rubin's testimony in the Oracle v. Google trial. We're not sure exactly what the focus of Schmidt's testimony will be, but we imagine Oracle will continue its tactic of looking deeper into the intent of those at Google who ultimately gave the green light to use Java and its APIs in the Android operating system.Read Article >
12:05 pm: And after another sidebar with the judge, Eric Schmidt is excused. And guess who's back? Andy Rubin! We'll be switching to our Andy Rubin testimony post for this, you can find it right here.
Jan 11, 2012
Eric Schmidt: Microsoft 'may not get through' Windows architectural transition, Android fragmentation not a concern
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.Read Article >
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.
Dec 7, 2011Read Article >
Eric Schmidt thinks his company is doing great — much better than we had even realized. Onstage at LeWeb in Paris this afternoon, Google's Executive Chairman told the audience that, "By the summer of 2012, the majority of the televisions you see in stores will have Google TV embedded." The claim would seem to run counter to mixed reviews, disappointing sales numbers to date, and the growth of competing connected TV platforms. Perhaps Schmidt knows something we don't? He went on to say that the quality of apps in the Android Market was just around the corner from overtaking that of Apple’s App Store, adding that Android could perhaps become the mobile platform to develop for first. The relentless positivity didn't stop there, however — he later added that Google is acquiring about one company a day, although he amended it backstage to the more realistic figure of one a week. We have to say, we like Schmidt’s bullish attitude, but we're concerned that Mountain View might be being a little too blue-sky.
Nov 9, 2011
It's not a new statement, exactly, but Eric Schmidt told an audience in Taipei today that Google will continue to support Android OEMs against patent lawsuits, and specifically called Apple's case against HTC "not correct." According to Schmidt, Google's support comes in the form of information and access to expertise, and — perhaps more importantly — access to Google's patent portfolio, which can be licensed or used in litigation. (HTC just countersued Apple again using patents purchased by Google, for example.)Read Article >
What Schmidt and Google haven't yet mentioned, however, is any promise of direct financial assistance to OEMs caught up in lawsuits, or any indication that Google's interested in taking on Apple or Microsoft directly. Since most of the disputes involve core technologies in Android, it's always been curious that Google hasn't gone on the offensive to try and protect its ecosystem as a whole, instead of simply helping individual OEMs play defense. We'll see if that changes if and when Google's Motorola acquisition is completed and Google takes ownership of both Motorola's patent portfolio and outstanding lawsuit against Apple — it's possible the real war is yet to begin.
Nov 8, 2011Read Article >
Google's Eric Schmidt is over in South Korea right now, meeting with country officials and performing an ambassadorial role for his company, but questions about the contest between Android and iOS have not abated. When faced with queries about Steve Jobs' allegation, as articulated in his recent biography by Walter Isaacson, that the Android OS copied Apple's iPhone, Schmidt replied that "the Android efforts started before the iPhone efforts." Going on to express his great sadness at Jobs' passing and describing him as a "fantastic human being," Schmidt says that he "decided not to comment on comments that are written in the book after [Jobs'] death." Still, the Google chairman doesn't see much reason to apologize for Android's existence and sees his company as continuing to be a great innovator. For more on his trip to Korea, hit the source link.