he stepped down from the CEO position in January. His goal? To talk Android, of course, and more importantly, to convince carriers that Google isn't trying to make them just "dumb pipes" for Google's content.Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt is giving a keynote presentation at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. It's his first major speech since
Update: At least, that's been his usual MO at these events. This time, a healthy Q&A session at the end gave a much larger focus on Google as a company, both on mobile and off.
UPDATE: Live blog has ended.
5:49: 300,000 Schmidt starts with stats: Android activations per day. He's talking about the power of broadband, the power of connectivity.
5:52: Technology is going to serve humans, not the other way around. And "computers are here to make us happier."
5:53: Today's developers think mobile first. Last year, Schmidt said he predicated smartphones would pass PC sales in 2 years. Now, he says he was wrong. It happened in one year. A smartphone today has the same capability of a lunar mission in 1969. The same thing has occurred on the networks - the operators are pouring billions of dollars to offer data at this scale.
5:55: Note, he's not calling the operators "carriers" like he does in the U.S. Carrier implies dumb pipe, operator sounds better.
5:59 Schmidt is revisiting the idea of mobile phones as "serendipity" platforms that help you discover the world around you, a favorite topic of his. Some magical things phones do come from Google: Google Translate for instance, is a universal translator. Translation is done in the cloud.
6:01 Demo Time! We're looking at a new Android app: Android Movie Studio which lets you edit video files. The app lets you add pan and zoom effects, customize the images in the timeline, change the beginning and end of clips, change the colors in clips.
6:07 Schmidt mentions this is a Honeycomb app. Uh-oh, networking issues! Can complete the demo, but you can see it on YouTube!
6:08 Back to Schmidt. He loves Honeycomb, by the way. Google wants to get you back to being human, not a slave to the computer. (Me: Oh we would love that, too, come to think of it.)
6:11 Google Chrome, AdWords, & YouTube get shout outs. 160 million mobile views per year on YouTube. Now Google is monetizing professional content on YouTube.
6:13 We understand that we're disruptive. We understand people have concerns about privacy. We think the debate is healthy and we want to be a part of the discussion. We're listening.
6:15 Over the next few years, all the mobile phones and tablets that are coming mean that you never forget anything: where you stayed, who you talked to, what you said. You're also never lost. When was the last time you were ever really lost? And all your friends know where you are, too. You're never lonely - there are always people "around" you. And you're never bored, never out of ideas. "We can always suggest new ideas." (Me: You, Google?) And of course, your car drives itself. This technology will come in a decade, not a year.
6:20 More people are coming to mobile, billions. It will change their lives. Because of what you helped them build (talking to the operators here, again). He says he hopes Google and you (the carriers) can work together to help make the world a better place with technology.
6:24 Question about Ads: What will ads in the future look like? Schmidt says targeted TV-quality ads customized to the unique individual without violating their privacy is the next big thing in advertising. Better ads are more satisfying to viewer and are a better return on investment.
Question about Android fragmentation, what's being done? Schmidt: we hear some of this. We have an anti-fragmentation clause for all our vendors. (Me: Say what?) The importance of the app store - it's the carrot and stick that encourages updates.
6: 27 Question: Google's role in managing people's money? Schmidt: Larry said we should offer "Google Bucks." Probably not going to happen. The serious answer is that there's a mega opportunity in front of us. The NFC chip such as the one in the Nexus Scan be used as a secure ID for electronic transactions.
Scenario: Phone remembers you need new pants. Phone knows there's 2 stores in front of you selling pants. The phone tells you which one has the pants you like (Schmidt likes the cheaper ones). Phone tells you where to go. Store knows you're coming. Pants are ready. You buy them, paying with your phone.
6:31 Question about the different OS's Google makes: "I apologize for the confusion." Confirms that Android Ice Cream will combine the features of Gingerbread and Honeycomb. He doesn't confirm it's called "Ice Cream," just that it starts with an "I" and is named after a dessert. Chrome OS is unrelated to mobile phones. Chrome OS is for netbooks and PCs. Over time, we're working on merging them, he said.
6:33 Question: Why isn't Larry here? Larry said: you get to fly around more. Larry is probably at his desk, working on products.
6:34 Question about HTML5. It will become the way almost all apps are built. The underlying standard had to evolve. Eventually, some number of years from now, a lot of apps will run on HTML5, on both mobile and non-mobile form factors.
6:35 Question about Google's vision for social, how will it bring intelligence to social info: Google is a platform. If you give us your social info, we can make search better. Ex: if you tell YouTube who your friends are, it can suggest better videos for you. It's another signal we add to the matrix.
Question about IPv4: The last block of addresses will be gone in the next 6 months. Google has been testing IPv6, as all major vendors do. The concern is about the intermediate things - the things you forgot about. We have do a number of tests to make sure IPv6 routing works. The time is now, we have to deal with it.
6:39 Question about how Schmidt sees Google in 10 years? Google will be a lot bigger. The world will be more mobile. The big development will be artificial intelligence. The infrastructure will be built but we can't predict the next killer apps.
6:41 Question on mobile devices and health: It's obvious that mobile devices should be used in health. Between 3-4 Google queries are medical, we're working to make those results accurate, more automated. Ex: "You're having a heart attack! Go the hospital now!"
Question about primary competitors: Schmidt says its primary competitor is Microsoft. They have the cash, scale, brand and reach. Bing is good - perhaps too good, as we mentioned in a recent blog post. Facebook is less of a competitor.
On Nokia/Microsoft deal: We wished Nokia had chosen Android. We certainly tried. We're sorry that they chose Microsoft.
6:44 Oops, I dropped my camera. I missed this question.
6:47 Why don't educational institutions embrace Google searches, Internet research? Schmidt: We've funded YouTube professors. We haven't come up with a killer "Ed" app. The sooner we can get people on mobile, the faster change can occur.
6:48 Android has been a success, are you moving to PC world? (Me: Uh, seriously?) Schmidt: Yes, and it's called Chrome OS. Sometime in spring, hardware manufacturers will deliver Chrome OS PCs. They won't run Microsoft apps.
6:50 Question about privacy dilemma? People trust brands that are trustworthy. People will opt-in if they know you're not trying to violate their privacy. Privacy is complicated, there's not a single answer. Sometimes national security, local laws, local customs come into play. As long as you choose to opt-in, not an issue.
That was the last question, we're wrapped.