Mobile is winning, says Google head

2 Jul 2010
Google's Eric Schmidt

The smartest developers are focusing on mobile devices rather than traditional PCs, says Eric Schmidt

Mobile devices are winning out over computers, Google's chief executive Eric Schmidt has said, although he admitted the two are still essentially linked.

Mobile is the "hottest" area of tech right now, he told attendees of the Guardian's Activate conference in London, with mobile web use growing eight times faster than on computers.

"Mobile is winning... It's amazing to me that the smartest developers now are writing apps for mobile before they write for Windows or Apple Mac desktop operating systems," he said, pointing to the success of the Apple iPad and Google's own Android.

But he noted that all those mobile devices are backed up by "a million computers", as applications such as voice recognition work via the cloud.

Disruptive tech

Schmidt also said the internet had changed the world far more than any other technology. "I believe the internet is by far the most disruptive technology that we've seen in history, even more disruptive than electricity," he said.

"The fundamental reason for that is it has replaced the economics of scarcity with the economics of abundance," he explained, as The Times newspaper is set to test that theory by putting its content behind a paywall. "As the internet rolls through industries and rolls through user behaviour ... any business that's built on a scarcity of information model is completely upended."

Asked about rumours of social networking site to rival Facebook, Schmidt said: "That would be a product announcement and I won't say." He did confirm that Google Voice would be heading to the UK soon, however.

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