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Google boss claims Android not ‘critical’ to firm’s success

19 Apr 2012
Google chief executive Larry Page

Google chief executive, Larry Page, has claimed the firm's Android system is not "critical" to its success, although is an "important" part of its future, after being grilled by lawyers during the firm's legal battle with software giant Oracle.

The two firms are in court over whether or not Google used Oracle's Java technology within its Android operating system without obtaining the necessary licences, with Oracle seeking damages as high as $1bn.

According to reports, Page dismissed claims that Android was a critical part of the firm's future, as he was questioned by lawyer David Boies, who also cross examined Bill Gates in the 1990s during Microsoft's famous anti-trust lawsuit.

Page's claim that the system is not vital to the firm comes as Google prepares to part with $12.5bn for the purchase of Motorola, chiefly to take ownership of the firm's patent portfolio to help it fend off numerous patent lawsuits being levelled against the platform.

Under further questioning, from Google's own lawyers, Page admitted Google wanted to use the Java technology developed by Sun Microsystems, subsequently bought by Oracle, but had been forced to take other routes.

"It would have saved us a lot of time and trouble to use Sun's technology. When we weren't able to have our business partnership, we went down our own path," he said.

Page is likely to return to the courtroom to face further questioning as the trial continues.

On Tuesday Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison admitted he had mulled over the idea of the company launching its own smartphone as well as possibly acquiring another vendor such as Research in Motion or Palm.

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Dan Worth

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

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