Google Chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt Friday took a jab at Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system and the Washington establishment in a question and answer session during the 25th anniversary celebration of MIT's legendary Media Lab.
In a wide-ranging discussion with National Public Radio Journalist John Hockenberry, Schmidt said the goal of great technology is to get people to use computers less so they can be more productive.
"The hours I spend reprogramming my PC in Windows 7 is not a very good use of my time," he said before a jam-packed MIT Media Lab auditorium of several hundred students and alumnae.
"Why I choose to do that in the first place is a problem with judgment," he added.
Next: Decrying Massive Deficits And Declining ProductivitySchmidt also trashed the Washington establishment saying: "I am really struck when I spend time in our government how much incumbency drives no change."
"If you watch enough television and you spend enough time in Washington, what is the future of America?" Schmidt asked. "Massive deficits, loss of manufacturing jobs overseas, an increasing number of health care services jobs which are relatively low paid, declining productivity. That is the sum of the message (from Washington). So what is your answer? Your answer is innovation."
Schmidt characterized the current lack of funding for innovative research at universities in areas such as nanotechnology as a national emergency. "The solutions that we have in government and society will not be made by incumbents but by people in this room," he said.
Schmidt also touched on the thorny issue of monopolies in the 21st century, a sensitive subject given Google's stranglehold on the search engine market.Hockenberry, in fact, pointed to Microsoft as a one-time monopoly and Google itself as ubiquitous.
Next: Schmidt Addresses The Monopoly Question
Schmidt said Google, unlike a monopoloy, is aligned "philosophically" with "end users." The classic business, he said, asks for a "revenue plan, business plan and ROI (return on investment) calculations," he said.
That, he said, is in sharp contrast to Google's creative drive and laser-like focus on solving user problems. The problem with monopolies, said Schmidt, is they are in "opposition" to users.
Schmidt said he envisions a world of personalized technology experiences where technology could tell a visitor to the Media Lab that he or she was here two years ago.
The visitor could be told that certain restaurants have closed; given a list of new restaurants and even informed that his or her pants and shirt are rather ragged and worn, and could receive a "10 percent off coupon" at a local shop if a purchase is made on the same day.
Next: A Simple CEO MaximSchmidt stressed that kind of personalized technology experience is something people can decide for themselves to use or not use. Today, he said, an assistant provides the same kind of help. "Why can't a device and network help me if I want them too," he said.
Schmidt also touched briefly on Google's better than expected third quarter results which sent its stock soaring 11 percent to $600 on Friday. This after the company Thursday reported a 32 percent jump in third quarter net profit to $2.17 billion on a robust 22 percent jump in sales to $7.29 billion.
Schmidt for his part, referring to the sharp sales growth noted the simple CEO maxim that "rising revenue solves all problems."