BARCELONA: Former Google chief executive Eric Schmidt has said that he is disappointed that Nokia chose to partner with Microsoft and use Windows Phone 7 instead of Google's Android operating system.
Schmidt, who stepped down as chief executive in January and now serves as executive chairman, said that he did not rule out the possibility of working with Nokia in the future.
"We would have liked Nokia to have adopted Android and are sorry they made a different choice, but the offer [to use Android] remains open to them," he said during his keynote at Mobile World Congress.
Schmidt addressed the suggestion that Android is at risk of fragmentation, saying that the company is working to solve the current gap between Gingerbread 2.3 for smartphones and Honeycomb 3.0 for tablets.
"Gingerbread is for mobiles, and Honeycomb is for tablets. The next version will begin with an 'I' and be named after a dessert, and it will combine the capabilities of the two," he said, basically confirming that it will be called Ice Cream.
Schmidt also indicated that Microsoft remains Google's core competitor, rather than Facebook, noting that Google is seeing stiff competition from Bing and joking about a recent spat between the two companies.
"Our main competitor is Microsoft as they have a very good search product called Bing, although in some cases it might be too good," he said.
Although speaking at a mobile event, Schmidt focused on a number of fixed network issues, including IPv6, and praised the European Commission for its ambitious broadband targets.
"The EU understands the power of broadband, the importance of connectivity and its importance for our daily lives with its targets of broadband for all by 2020 of 30Mbit/s and at least 50 per cent with 100Mbit/s and above," he said.
However, Ovum principal analyst Eden Zoller was disappointed with the speech, branding it "big on vision and quotes, but low on any exciting announcements", adding that Schmidt had failed to address the current battle with Facebook for social advertising.
"There was no mention of how Google will or could bring coherence to its currently fragmented social media strategy, a weak spot in Google's armoury especially given the importance of social media as an advertising platform," he said.
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