August 13, 2008
CEO Eric Schmidt Discusses Future of Google on CNBC
By Michelle Robart, TMCnet Editor
Google (News - Alert) CEO and Chairman, Eric Schmidt gave Mad Money’s Jim Cramer some time out of his busy schedule to discuss the future of Google today during a live CNBC interview.
On Monday night, Gmail users saw first-hand that Google isn’t immune to problems. When Gmail went down Monday night for close to 90 minutes it left millions of users in the dark, unable to access their e-mail. This shed light on the problems of so-called Cloud Computing.
Google said an outage in the contacts system used by Gmail prevented the e-mail system from loading properly. The company also stated that there may be minor delays in deliveries even though all mail is safe.
“That was just a screw up. We fixed that. We're not perfect,” Schmidt declared to Cramer when asked about Monday’s issue.
For Google, Cloud Computing could be a big deal: the notion that all your information, personal data, digital entertainment, software applications, etc. is stored on one big network instead of the hard drive inside your own, personal computer. This also means that deeply protected and secure data would be accessible from any computer, anytime, anywhere.
Another big area Google plans to capitalize on is mobile computing.
“Mobile is going to be huge,” Schmidt declared.
Mobile computing is becoming increasingly popular with the debut of the iPhone (News - Alert), and the rise in smartphones and the 3G network. Everyone is moving from traditional online to mobile computing.
“We will make more money overtime on mobile computing then desktop because it’s more targeted,” explained Schmidt.
One way Google remains unscathed by the U.S. market slump is by staying ahead of the curve by constantly adding other growing businesses. This works well today because we are in a multi-sectored “advertising generation”, according to Schmidt.
Cramer shares with Schmidt how schools are telling kids they can’t “google” assignments to gather research. Google holds the same power as a calculator during a math test and the dictionary as a reference.
Schmidt explained that kids are learning to search, using things like iPhones to answer their questions.
“Google has become so powerful that we now take advantage of it,” Cramer contended.
Some people will say that Google is making people lazy. However, Schmidt thinks that people today are smarter; Google just organizes the information for them. People are the ones who are selecting the topics and the information to search for, he explained.
Regarding Google Ads, and the Google homepage, Cramer stated, “Google has revolutionized advertising.”
“We prioritize the end user over the advertiser,” said Schmidt. He revealed that Google wants users to eventually become domestic shareholders and for them to come back to the site more and more.
“We could make billions selling ads but we don’t,” Schmidt added.
Schmidt then quizzes Cramer on the current state of the U.S. market and economy.
“What keeps me awake at night about Google is that I worry that there is a price or a level where Google just won’t be able to get any bigger,” Cramer stated.
Cramer shared that he is concerned that there will come a time when the U.S. and/or the government will try to put a stop to Google’s growth.
However, Schmidt contended that, “Google can be big without being evil.”
He explained to Cramer that Google makes it easy to become a competitor, but there is one market contender Schmidt declared he doesn’t lose sleep over.
To view the interview, please visit: http://www.cnbc.com/id/15840232?video=822974127&play=1.
Michelle Robart is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Michelle's articles, please visit her columnist page.