Eric Schmidt is disappointed that Nokia chose Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 over Android, but says Google is still keen on a future deal.
“We’d like them to adopt Android, and we certainly tried,” Google’s outgoing CEO said during a Q&A session following his keynote speech at the Mobile World Congress Tuesday, adding “the offer remains open.”
Schmidt – making his second consecutive appearance at MWC, and his last as Google’s CEO – acknowledged Microsoft as being Google’s biggest competitor, albeit still mainly in the search engine space with Bing.
“Bing is a good search engine – almost too good,” he joked in reference to recent allegations that Bing copied Google’s search algorithms.
ComScore announced earlier this week that Bing’s search share grew to just over 13% in January largely at the expense of Google, whose search share dropped to 65.6%.
Schmidt denied that Facebook was shaping up as a formidable competitor in the advertising space. “There’s no evidence I’m aware of that it’s hurting our ad business,” he said.
The outgoing boss also addressed developer complaints about the fragmentation of Android, noting that the license agreement “comes with an ‘anti-fragmentation’ clause',” which aims to encourage vendors to conform with certain APIs when they design Android-based products.”
Schmidt’s speech focused on personalization as the next major search trend, from more personalized search results to targeted, context-aware mobile ads, all based on extensive user data. This prompted Schmidt to pepper his talk with the phrase “with your permission” as an acknowledgement that personalization is an opt-in proposition.
“Most people trust brands that are trustworthy,” he said. “If you offer people something that’s of value to them, they’ll opt in.”