Google CEO Larry Page was interviewed on Charlie Rose recently, and there was certainly some interesting stuff in there. Sadly, the interview suffers from the curse of modern journalism in that it was all a bit timid and civil (no truly harsh and confronting questions), but despite that, it’s still a good watch. Two quotes from Page really stood out to me.
We’ve talked about the early days of Android quite a bit here on OSNews, mostly just stabbing in the dark since there’s not a whole lot of information out there for us mere mortals to work from. Still, every now and then we get interesting insights into how Android came to be, like with Dianne Hackborn’s excellent comment.
In that light, I liked the following remark from Page, where he talked about the relationship between Apple and Google when it comes to Android. “When we bought Android, we had no idea they were doing it, and they had no idea we were doing it,” he said, referring to the iPhone. Google acquired Android in 2005, and it’s logical to assume Apple was already working on the iPhone at that time.
Related to that, Page obviously addressed the legal attacks and trolling on Android, and this was the only time I noticed a sort of spark in his eyes – he’s very timid and reserved otherwise. The interview touched upon Oracle at this point, but Page clearly wanted to address everyone else as well.
“This [Oracle suit] is part of the general trend of companies,” he states, “They don’t know what to do, they just attack Android and hope they’ll make some money off of it.” It’s pretty clear by now that for some companies – especially Microsoft and Oracle – that’s the real motivation. None of these companies have contributed a single line of code or development effort to Android, yet still want an entirely free ride through patent trolling.
Apple is a bit different here, since so far they just have been looking to shutdown the Android competition, which hasn’t really been working out swell for them. Sure, Apple is making more than enough as it is, but there’s no denying that without Android, Apple would be selling even more iPhones.
It fascinates me that Page chose this specific subject to show some agitation. I don’t think Page and Brin could have anticipated – nor wanted to – that they’d be facing legal assaults from the largest incumbents in technology. I wonder what it must be like to see your company under a combined and coordinated legal assault from Microsoft, Apple, and Oracle.
I’d be fairly agitated too.