By Philip Elmer-DeWitt
May 21, 2010

In his Google I/O keynote, Vic Gundotra threw down the gauntlet. How will Apple respond?

Thursday may be remembered as the day Google (GOOG) leapfrogged Apple (AAPL), introducing a slew of new products — an ad platform, a music market, Google TV — and reporting that in 18 months Android has overtaken the iPhone OS in everything from U.S. smartphone sales to mobile Web searches.

But the most direct challenge came in the first 10 minutes of Thursday’s keynote. It was delivered by Vic Gundotra, the Microsoft veteran being groomed as Google’s answer to Steve Jobs — a charismatic (for an engineer) front-man who can talk tech on stage and knows how to deliver a punchline. (You may remember him as the guy who played a game second-fiddle to Conan O’Brian at the Googleplex two weeks ago. See here.)

Gundotra’s keynote was packed with digs at Apple — subtle and not so subtle — for example, when he quoted Android architect Andy Rubin on why the world needed a second mobile operating system:

“If we did not act, we faced a draconian future where one man, one phone, one carrier was the future,” he said, against the backdrop of a 1984 poster. “That’s a future we don’t want.”

See if you can spot the rest. We’ve pasted Part 1 of Gundotra’s keynote below. The rest are available on YouTube.

[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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