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Mobile is winning, says Google head

Google's Eric Schmidt

By Nicole Kobie

Posted on 2 Jul 2010 at 13:46

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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User comments

All depends what you mean by 'smart'. If there's a gold rush going on, that I can understand. But if he's saying that mobile apps offer unprecedented challenges and are pushing the boundaries of technology, which is what usually motivates 'smart' developers, that I'm more skeptical about.

By c6ten on 2 Jul 2010

"the smartest developers now are writing apps for mobile before they write for Windows "
Maybe apps are written in easier languages.
Maybe the app store makes it easier to make money from them (esp while there are not many around - once there are 10 different apps for every need, as with Windows, people will be 'drowning' in choice and never select anything).
Maybe its the new functionality of location-based info that has excited developers.

By davidsoap on 3 Jul 2010

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