May 19, 2005 9:56 AM PDT
Google CEO defends privacy policies
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much larger market than the IT industry," he said.
Google's top priorities are personalization and comprehensive content, which are appealing to consumers and provide the information market with a larger treasure trove than the IT industry, he said.
Google has been evaluating computing systems that can classify multimedia information such as video and audio, but that technology doesn't work on a large scale, he said. So for now, the search engine will focus on text and keyword searches.
With Yahoo as its main direct competitor, Google is seeking ways to be the most relevant for users. One example is ensuring its search technology works well with the increasingly popular Firefox open-source Web browser.
Google has recently hired several Mozilla engineers who played a key role with Firefox.
Although Schmidt didn't outright deny any interest the company might have in getting into the browser business, he did offer a less dramatic explanation for the recent hires: to make sure Google's products work with all Web browsers.
"Firefox has increasing market share as an alternative to Internet Explorer. The evidence so far (for its gains) is that it's basically around user interface and greater security. We have decided to work on a browser-independent strategy," Schmidt said.
He added that the hires also let Google tap into the open-source programming movement that's breathing new life into computing.
"Industries tended to coagulate and get stuck. The open-source movement as a whole is drawing some of the best and brightest new talent," Schmidt said. "It's clearly...bringing new people in, developing new solutions people haven't thought of. Google itself uses a variant of Linux."
Google balances its research investments with a formula Brin developed that maximizes generating new ideas. Seventy percent of the company's money is invested in areas relating to its core business of advertising and search, 20 percent in related but secondary businesses, and 10 percent for comparatively wild, new ideas.
"As for me, as CEO, I personally look at my calendar to make sure I'm spending 80 percent of my time on our core strategy," Schmidt said.