Google's Eric Schmidt discusses Sharing and Mobile strategy

GigaOm analyzes this video of Eric Schmidt at Atmosphere.

And throws this out as summary of key issues Eric presents.

Schmidt made two specific comments about resource allocation, saying that the hardest and most pressing engineering issues facing Google today are around sharing and mobile. He was talking to the enterprise execs present but his statements were so absolute I think it’s fair to apply them more broadly.

“Companies are about sharing,” Schmidt said. “One of the new things in the last five years about the web is that it enables sharing-sensitive apps.” He continued,

I think of calendars as incredibly boring, but I’m wrong, calendars are incredibly interesting because they’re incredibly shared. So from a computer science perspective, all of a sudden we have our top engineers who want to build calendars. I’m going, what’s wrong with you guys? But in fact it’s a very interesting example. Spreadsheets are similar, the most interesting spreadsheets are highly, highly interlinked, something I didn’t know, and was not possible with the previous technology — Microsoft technology made it very difficult because they were not built in that model.

Google's Don Dodge (recently laid off by Microsoft) adds his perspective on the threat to Office.

Erick Schonfeld at Techcrunch says; "Slowly but surely, Google keeps trying to chip away at Microsoft’s core Office productivity suite with Google Docs, its free online word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation software. Today, Google Drawing is being added to the mix and Google Docs and Spreadsheets is getting a major realtime update."

David Berlind at InformationWeek is much more aggressive. "Make no mistake about it. Google is going for Microsoft's jugular. The deathmatch is on and, at the very least, it's for bragging rights to what we at InformationWeek are calling the "collaborative backbone." It becomes a battle that's less about Google Docs versus Microsoft Office and much more about the collaborative infrastructure behind Google Apps versus Microsoft's SharePoint and Exchange."

And provides a graph to illustrate his point.

This competitive positioning chart illustrates where Google is coming from, and where it hopes to go in the future. It is the classic Innovators Dilemma competitive curve. Time will tell how it shakes out. The move to the cloud seems to be pretty clear. Only the slope of the curve and speed seems to be in question.


And, let's not forget the changes from Mobile.

As the mobile Internet becomes central for both consumer and corporate users, the core product questions are interoperability, security and safety, Schmidt said. “What’s important is to get the mobile experience right, because mobility will ultimately be the way you provision most of your services,” he added, saying that Google considers phones, tablets and netbooks mobile experiences.

These are all things we are thinking about as we get the GreenM3 NPO rolling, and how we will approach data center information sharing.  In some ways you could contrast what we are thinking of in an Open and Transparent approach to data center innovation vs. the status quo.  It is close to the comparison of Microsoft's individual authoring thinking vs. Google's team collaboration.