Thanks to the great wifi here, this lengthy post was completely erased when I tried posting. Here we go again, this time with feeling.
John Battelle interviewed Google CEO Eric Schmidt at the Web 2.0 Expo keynote this morning. Here are the highlights and my commentary:
- Google announces Presentations add-on for Docs & Spreadsheets. "Well duh" reaction signaled by tempered audience applause.
- Eric denies Google's competing with Microsoft Office here. Battelle doesn't buy it. Massive applause for John.
- Eric doesn't get Battelle's Punch the Monkey reference to online ads. Come on, did Eric just get online this week? (He definitely didn't from this event.)
- On DoubleClick/YouTube acquisitions: advertisers want a single source where their ad dollars can be allocated automatically across all media. Do advertisers really want this? Is this the death of the media buyer? Doubt it, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. This is the likely candidate for the next column, so comment or email me if you have thoughts, and let me know if you want to be attributed by name if I quote you.
- On Performics: no decisions made yet. But he didn't explicitly deny the possibility of spinning it off. My take: they will. Unless they take the technology assets, kill off the company, and mangle it quicker than you can say Dodgeball. Hence why I hope for Performics it's spun off.
- Great ? from Battelle: The Google Pack download has an app that deletes DoubleClick cookies. Eric actually likes the app quite a bit. No word on what they'll do with it.
- Schmidt got a kick out of Microsoft, AT&T claiming antitrust issues with the DoubleClick buy. His simple take on the accusers: "They're wrong."
- Copyright issues with YouTube: look out for Claim Your Content feature coming soon which Schmidt said will put legal issues to rest.
- Eric loves Net Neutrality. Applause.
- Acquisitions: Eric can't say specifically, but he said the hot growth areas are mobile and local.
- Big issue: data portability - users/consumers being able to own their data and take it wherever they want. Could be interesting for another column.