Google CEO Eric Schmidt held a roundtable lunch Thursday with a number of journalists in which he talked about the company, how it is perceived, and where it is headed.
To those who talk about embargoing filtering technology to China or other regimes that restrict political information, Schmidt said that personally he was instructed by the example of Cuba. He said the embargo there hasn't worked, with Castro still in power, and with the Cuban people living with technology form the 1950s.
Schmidt said he expects advertising will be the growth engine of Google for a very long time. Other growth are might be selling content: video, books. "The next 6 months is when video really takes off."
Schmidt said that the acquisition of Writely was not meant to create a competitor to Microsoft Office, which he said solves a complicated and important problem of work productivity. Writely is a server-based editing system where you can move your files around, he said, and there are places where a rich text editor is useful in Google. "Office is not the business we're in" stressed Schmidt.
Google Base vs. eBay
Schmidt said Google Base is just a database of structured information, which is easier to index and rank than regular web pages. Most Google Base information points to eBay or similar sites, so it can't compete with eBay.
Google strategy in 2006
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