Eric Schmidt on Nokia, new Android OS, XOOM’s Movie Studio…

February 15, 2011, 10:40 PM UTC
Eric E. Schmidt, Chairman and CEO of Google In...
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… Chrome vs. Android, and where’s Larry (Page, CEO)?

As Google’s (GOOG) outgoing CEO Eric Schmidt’s talks usually are, today’s at Moble World Congress was candid, informative and full of “with your permissions”. He spoke on a number of topics but the most interesting I’ll break down below.

On the recent Nokia- Microsoft Deal:

“We would’ve loved if they chose Android. They chose Windows. The offer to adopt later is still open. We certainly tried.”

Translation: we want to keep the door open contrary to what other Google executives have said. There are a growing group of dissenters in Nokia that may want to choose something else down the road.  It is also best not to give the opposing team a rallying cry.

When asked, “Shouldn’t Larry [Page] be here instead of you?” Schmidt said,

“Larry said you get to fly around more. He’s extremely happy that I’m here. He’s probably asleep at the moment, but if he’s up, he’s at his desk working on project.” Sergey is working on a number of other issues. Both Larry and Eric like Eric being the public one.

This is precisely the role Schmidt and Page envisioned for each other.  Page takes the day to day operations while Schmidt accumulates frequent flyer miles.

Schmidt introduced Movie Studio, an Android tablet application that would allow these new Honeycomb tablets to produce movies to fill up YouTube and populate those 4G connections that the tablets will be talking about.

“These new devices are great not only for consuming media but also creating.” With 4G networks, high quality video is more possible than ever before. Movie Studio, a new Android application that allows you to edit videos.

On Android OSes, Schmidt said that Gingerbread (phones) and Honeycomb (Tablets) would merge into a single OS likely called Ice Cream or Ice Cream Sandwich.  Releases with alphabetical codenames would come every six months or so – or obviously two a year going forward.  That means Google will run out of OS codenames by about 2018, if they can think of deserts that start in X or Z.

Finally, someone asked if google was working on an OS for desktops.  Schmidt quipped, “That’s ChromeOS”.

Probably the most important part of the talk was that, by ending every sentence with “…with your permission”, he’s been able to avoid any privacy gaffes.