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Google CEO Larry Page Talks Apple, Android, Google+ 136

Posted by timothy
from the what-about-google-buzz dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "Fortune magazine managed to score an exclusive interview with Google CEO Larry Page. While he doesn't reveal a whole lot about the company's future plans—CEOs are great at offering fuzzy generalities, if nothing else—he manages to reveal just a bit about the ongoing competition with Apple, the evolution of search, and monetizing mobile devices. Google's rivalry with Apple has descended into massive lawsuits, but Page doesn't exactly channel Genghis Khan when it comes to his own feelings on the issue. 'I think it would be nice if everybody would get along better and the users didn't suffer as a result of other people's activities,' he told the magazine. 'We try pretty hard to make our products be available as widely as we can. That's our philosophy. I think sometimes we're allowed to do that. Sometimes we're not.'"
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Google CEO Larry Page Talks Apple, Android, Google+

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  • by bmo (77928) on Tuesday December 11, 2012 @10:49AM (#42250929)

    "Larry Page Talks Apple, Android, Google+"?

    Gorbachev Sings Tractors: Turnip! Buttocks!

    --
    BMO

  • come on (Score:2, Insightful)

    by wbr1 (2538558)
    Google is rich and powerful. If they were seriously interested in changing patent and copyright laws that stifle innovation, they would put their where their mouth is and lobby for real change. Instead they talk it when it suits them, but they know those some laws can be used to protect their profits. Ergo hypocrisy and no real change.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Google is rich and powerful. If they were seriously interested in changing patent and copyright laws that stifle innovation, they would put their where their mouth is and lobby for real change. Instead they talk it when it suits them, but they know those some laws can be used to protect their profits. Ergo hypocrisy and no real change.

      Google just purchased Motorola Mobility for their patent portfolio, and is already using it aggressively vs M$ and Apple. They are playing the game, not changing it.

      • Re:come on (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Fastolfe (1470) on Tuesday December 11, 2012 @11:09AM (#42251115)

        So if Google stood up and said "we're not playing the patent game anymore", and got rid of all of their patents, what do you think would happen? Until the system changes, it would be kind of stupid to just sit back and get destroyed by everyone else's patent litigation. Participation doesn't mean that their primary goal isn't changing the system.

        • Re:come on (Score:4, Interesting)

          by the computer guy nex (916959) on Tuesday December 11, 2012 @11:33AM (#42251333)

          So if Google stood up and said "we're not playing the patent game anymore", and got rid of all of their patents, what do you think would happen? Until the system changes, it would be kind of stupid to just sit back and get destroyed by everyone else's patent litigation. Participation doesn't mean that their primary goal isn't changing the system.

          Most believed Google would be using the Motorola patents defensively. Instead they are using the Motorola Mobility patent portfolio to ban everything from smartphones, to tablets, to the Xbox 360.

          http://www.redorbit.com/news/technology/1112740990/motorola-microsoft-xbox-lawsuit-120312/ [redorbit.com]

          • Re:come on (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Methuseus (468642) <methuseus@yahoo.com> on Tuesday December 11, 2012 @11:54AM (#42251605)

            Some people believe that they are trying to get the whole patent system changed by making it unprofitable for anyone else. The more players lobbying to change it,t he better.

          • Re:come on (Score:5, Insightful)

            by ifiwereasculptor (1870574) on Tuesday December 11, 2012 @12:02PM (#42251669)

            How do you use a patent "defensively"? It's like a gun: virtually useless in stopping other bullets, but it can protect you in a firefight by forcing your opponent to worry about not exposing himself to your bullets, and thus adopting a less efficient offensive behaviour. Of course, if your opponent knows you're not going to shoot back, then your gun is entirely useless in aiding your survival. And Microsoft has picked on lots of Android vendors for the last two years with litigation (is it HTC that ended up having to pay them a fee for every device sold?), so I don't see your point.

            • How do you use a patent "defensively"? It's like a gun: virtually useless in stopping other bullets,

              Or, like a gun, you can get a REALLY HUGE one, then strut around waggling it in a REALLY obvious manner so that everyone's attention is drawn to it. That way, when opponents are sizing you up (generally what happens before the shooting starts), the have the opportunity to realise that you have a really huge gun and they will get shot with it.

              And you can use it defensively by only shooting people who shoot at

            • You know where else I have heard about using patents "defensively"? At Microsoft, circa 2001-2002 when I worked there. It was all about using them "defensively" back then. Then Microsoft had found itself struggling in a number of markets and started suing people left and right to extract royalties. Google will do the exact same thing a few years down the road, for the same reason.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            Read the article you linked to.

            Microsoft sued Google, they countersued.

            Isn't that defensive use?

          • Re:come on (Score:5, Insightful)

            by scot4875 (542869) on Tuesday December 11, 2012 @12:08PM (#42251737) Homepage

            That's the best link you have? One regarding the result of a case that had been pending since before Google bought Motorola? That sure doesn't lend a lot of credence to your claims.

            What specific products has Motorola (post-buyout) tried to take off the shelves?

            Seriously, try a little harder, bonch. This is just pathetic.

            --Jeremy

      • Re:come on (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 11, 2012 @11:15AM (#42251161)

        Google just purchased Motorola Mobility for their patent portfolio, and is already using it aggressively vs M$ and Apple. They are playing the game, not changing it.

        You need to look at this from the cold war perspective. Neither the US nor the USSR wanted nuclear war, but it would be utterly stupid for either of them to just get rid of their nuclear weapons.

        You have to make an agreement where everyone involved weakens their arsenals simultaneously. Until that happens, you must work to increase your arsenal to higher levels than your opponents, or risk being destroyed.

        By not entering into cross-licensing agreements, Apple is essentially behaving like North Korea, as if they don't understand the concept of MAD, and just getting all the other nuclear powers angry.

        • Google just purchased Motorola Mobility for their patent portfolio, and is already using it aggressively vs M$ and Apple. They are playing the game, not changing it.

          You need to look at this from the cold war perspective. Neither the US nor the USSR wanted nuclear war, but it would be utterly stupid for either of them to just get rid of their nuclear weapons.

          You have to make an agreement where everyone involved weakens their arsenals simultaneously. Until that happens, you must work to increase your arsenal to higher levels than your opponents, or risk being destroyed.

          By not entering into cross-licensing agreements, Apple is essentially behaving like North Korea, as if they don't understand the concept of MAD, and just getting all the other nuclear powers angry.

          The world is having more success at disarming Apple than it has with North Korea. Source: http://apple.slashdot.org/story/12/12/07/2346246/steve-jobs-patent-on-iphone-declared-invalid [slashdot.org]

          • to repeat more cold war rhetoric, there is no moral equivilant between google and apple.

            "There is a diffrence between pushing an old lady out of the way of a bush, and pushing one in front of a bus, to catagorize both as pushing around old ladies is wrong".
        • Ran out of mod points, but a metaphorical +1 for using North Korea as a reference. Agreed.
        • by nedlohs (1335013)

          You don't need to increase your arsenal to higher levels than your opponents. You just need to increase it to the level at which your second strike will overwhelm the other sides defenses and wipe them out. Of course that level might increase over time but you don't need to have a larger arsenal than your opponents.

      • Still trolling Google stories with an endless number of alt accounts.

        http://slashdot.org/~bonch [slashdot.org]

        What a loser.

      • by kllrnohj (2626947)

        You and I clearly have very, very different meanings for the word "aggressively". Microsoft and Apple are both suing Motorola. Google didn't start this fight, so I'm not sure how you can call defending themselves and Android as "using it aggressively".

      • there is only one idea theif in corporate America, everyone else is trying to get their shit back.
      • by Drathos (1092)

        You do realize that the cases you're referring to started before Google took over Motorola, right?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Google is rich in dollars and powerful solely in the tech industry.

      FTFY.

      Being rich, or even richer than the next guy, doesn't really mean a damn thing when it comes to lobbying for laws and/or the changing of laws. Being powerful in one relatively new industry also doesn't mean a thing, not when the majority of Congress grew up following and living under the shadow of an old entertainment industry currently lobbying against everything Google is lobbying for (hell, they put Ronald Reagan up for president, didn't they?). The record and movie industries are, for a lack of a

    • Ergo hypocrisy and no real change.

      Their motto is "don't be evil" which is not the same thing as saying "be a force for good". Maybe they see that as a convenient loophole in their motto.

      Seriously, if Google really cared about spreading their products as widely as possible they'd be spending cubic dollars on lobbying for copyright and patent reform. But they don't seem really interested in being a leader in doing this.

    • by kaiser423 (828989)
      Google just filed an brief, and brought along a couple of other heavy hitters asking the patent office to reform, and to scrub current patents for overarching generalities like "on the internet". From their brief, it even sounds like they're willing to pay the USPTO some of the cost associated with doing that patent scrub. They are putting their money where their mouth is, but in the meantime you don't win a thermonuclear war (current smartphone market) without some warheads of your own.
    • by kllrnohj (2626947)

      They *ARE* lobbying for patent reforms, but just because you lobby doesn't mean it will actually work or that things will change, especially when equally rich and powerful companies are lobbying *against* you.

      If you want change elect different politicians. Either those that will do the right thing, or those that are even more corrupt and can be more easily bought by companies.

  • by the computer guy nex (916959) on Tuesday December 11, 2012 @10:54AM (#42250979)
    Currently Google is pre-selected as the search engine for iOS devices. We all know Google hardly makes a dime from Android directly - they are an advertising company. Google ironically makes more money from iOS due to the higher usage of iOS devices around the world (and, in turn, more ad impressions).

    Something as simple as having the user select their search engine of choice during device setup, and having the list alphabetical (Bing, Google, Yahoo) would cause a significant revenue decline.

    If these behind-the-scenes talks with Apple and Google get worse, this will be the big sign.
    • by vlm (69642)

      Built in ad blocker would probably be more exciting.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Except iOS doesn't have higher market share. Whomp whomp.

      • by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Tuesday December 11, 2012 @11:58AM (#42251633) Homepage
        Market share doesn't matter. iOS people use the web more. Not all android owners have a nexus or s3. They have cheap phones on cheap contracts which is why they don't surf the net much if at all and avoid paying for apps.
        • by Anonymous Coward

          We all know that iOS people are vastly superior to others... especially those who use "cheap" Android phones.
          iOS people are proud to pay for expensive data plans and pay for apps which are free on Android because they have more money, are more beautiful, and like to show their superior smarts.
          Even though iOS market share has been dwindling inexorably downwards (along with Apple profits and stock price), iOS users are very secure in their belief in their superiority and will not be swayed by so-called "facts

          • by mosb1000 (710161)

            The parent was saying that while Android is the most popular OS, many buy it on inexpensive phones with inexpensive plans which they don't intend to use for browsing the internet. If the only Android phones on the market were like the GS3 or 1X+, you'd probably see them used for internet access just as much as iPhones. Apple only makes high end phones, so you don't see people buying them just to make phone calls like you do with Android.

          • I'm amazed that such a beautiful piece of parody was modded into oblivion.

          • I realise you can't handle the truth but anything said about the iphone applies directly to high-end android phones too. If Fandroids are going to keep touting Android market share at least be realistic about what it means and that there is a very huge variety of Android phones and the sort of people that buy them which means even if there was double the android phones that doesn't, for example, equate to twice the potential market for app developers which is why developers don't leave iOS in great numbers.
        • I'm guessing that the iOS people who use the web most would set their search page to google rather than bing though. My mother might find herself using Bing as the default on her iphone if they push that, but I'm not sure she knows that her phone HAS an internet browser. So I'm skeptical that google would lose a huge market share because of that.

          I'm also thinking that apple would want to tread lightly after the maps debacle of a PR move. "First maps now the internet! Apple won't let you google anymor
        • They have cheap phones on cheap contracts

          The meaning of "they" is not very clear. Does "they" mean all Android users? You might say I'm trying to misunderstand what you said. But would you and anyone else who read your statement see a difference in the following statement?

          Some Android users have cheap phones on cheap contracts... At the same time, other Android users have expensive phones on expensive contracts because they surf the net , a lot, and ....

          • Not all Android owners. The real competition with iphone is things like the S3 or Nexus and other high end phones and I suspect you'll find if you compare similar Android phones or iphone the numbers are much closer in terms of marketshare. But because Android is open for basically anyone to use there are a ton of phones that are on the low end of the market.

            Low-end Android phones aren't a bad thing. But when people say things like Android has 65% or whatever of the market that it's not really comparable
    • Currently Google is pre-selected as the search engine for iOS devices. We all know Google hardly makes a dime from Android directly - they are an advertising company. Google ironically makes more money from iOS due to the higher usage of iOS devices around the world (and, in turn, more ad impressions).

      Can you cite a source for that claim? The numbers Gartner most recently published make that seem extremely unlikely given about 3 times the number of android devices vs iOS. Source: http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=2237315 [gartner.com]

    • by cjjjer (530715)

      We all know Google hardly makes a dime from Android directly

      I dunno about that by licensing the GAPPS they get a cut from the phone maker who uses Android as well developers have to pay to have an account to list their apps under I would say that is making money from Android directly since without it there would be no money coming in at all.

    • I think Apples customers probably have a limited tolerance for agenda-driven hoop jumping. They aren't all passive sheep you know - look at the rage over iOS Maps. If Apple rolled boulders down the hill at users who wanted to search the web with Google it'd just make iPhones look even more troublesome than already are.
  • But they suckered me in with the $249 price, and this little machine is just a ton of fun. Its like Desktop Android - thousands of Android apps. I think they've hit a home run with this little device.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Sedated2000 (1716470)
      I got one of the chromebooks google shipped out for testing. I love it a lot more than I thought I would. It is the laptop I read sites/chat/watch youtube on before sleep. Very light, very quiet and it doesn't generate a lot of heat.
  • 'We try pretty hard to make our products be available as widely as we can. That's our philosophy. I think sometimes we're allowed to do that. Sometimes we're not.'"

    He should have stated: -

    I think sometimes we're allowed to do that. Sometimes we're not, because of our perceived one sided revenue model as interpreted by the some in the newspaper industry [rt.com] for example.

    • by iluvcapra (782887)
      The proper FTFY for the statement is:

      "We try pretty hard to make our users be available as widely as we can to our adwords partners. That's our philosophy. I think sometimes we're allowed to do that. Sometimes we're not."

  • Larry Page is never exact recently, he learned to keep his mouth shut, becasue his stock will drop, if he said something that is not good or something that let's people speculate about troubles.

    He prints his own money now. So he is basically set, if he just keeps his real thoughts to himself.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    in Led Zeppelin/ Glad to see he got a new gig.

  • A bit of an aside, but what the hell is really meant by "exclusive" interview? That there were no other interviewers in the room?
  • They have no problem teaming up with apple to buy up Kodak patents. That and the Motorola deal show they aren't against patents. They're just like everyone else. I can't believe people still think they try to do the right thing. If they really wanted to do that they can start paying fair taxes.
    • by gutnor (872759)

      At last somebody noticed. Samsung and Apple are very happy to build custom made factories. Apple and Google are still friend for a variety of different venture.

      Of course they are all competitors and kicking each other in the balls when it is profitable, but mostly all 3 companies have 3 different approaches and are happy to help each other for mutual benefit. All those talk about betrayal, war, hate, ... is just business as usual blown out of proportion "for fun and profit".

  • I think monetizing is my new, most-hated word. (It used to be "premium.") Both are lame-o marketing speak. Why not just call monetizing what it is: Trying to make a profit off something. As for premium, it's intended to convey some sense of privilege or exclusivity, but it's too frequently used for utterly banal things, like "points" in some stupid marketing scheme.

    I'm having a hard time getting through the rest of the article because of that word.

    It's not exactly breaking my heart that companies are ha

    • by Xtifr (1323)

      I don't quite understand the objection. You think we should keep using a seven word phrase instead of a simple single word? That seems...pointless.

      I'll grant that the concept isn't necessarily a pleasant one, but it isn't necessarily unpleasant either. And its implications, both fortunate and un-, are shared by that seven word phrase. Unlike "premium", which is definitely used to be misleading, "monetize" seems refreshingly straightforward to me.

      I'll admit that the word has unpleasant associations for me, d

  • Who cares? Geeks take this shit way too seriously. Channel Genghis Khan? WTF does that even mean? He should behead the interviewer with a war axe? Actually, that would be pretty awesome, and a good distraction from the liquidation of civilization. Put it in a circus tent and sell lots of bread products.

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Tuesday December 11, 2012 @01:13PM (#42252439) Journal

    We try pretty hard to make our products be available as widely as we can. That's our philosophy.

    So, where's the Google Talk client for iOS?

    • by swillden (191260)

      We try pretty hard to make our products be available as widely as we can. That's our philosophy.

      So, where's the Google Talk client for iOS?

      There are many Google Talk clients for iOS. One of the many advantages of choosing a standard chat protocol (XMPP) for Google Talk is that Google doesn't have to create clients for every platform to make the product available there. Google's product is available on iOS.

      • There are many Google Talk clients for iOS.

        Yes, and all of them suck. Half don't have push notifications, for example; the other half implement them flakily

        One of the many advantages of choosing a standard chat protocol (XMPP) for Google Talk is that Google doesn't have to create clients for every platform to make the product available there.

        If only it was so easy. Take push notifications as an example - that's server-side logic, and you need it for the app to receive and collect messages when it is in the background. A third party can only implement it by having their servers connect to Google ones using your login/password (for which you have to give it to them!). So Google is the only one who can implement that securely.

        Then also,

  • I'd be happy if they would just fix the blasted domain crowding. Filling 60% of the results with different pages all on the same domain is usually not useful.

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