Google's Rich Miner: Users will see ads and like it

Google's Rich Miner: Users will see ads and like it

Summary: While developers have been creating programs with the Android SDK since November, many consider the Mobile World Congress at Barcelona to be Android's coming-out party. In an interview, Google's Rich Miner predicts that Android will be running "a very large percentage" of all mobile phones over the next five years. Google will compete in the open market it creates by developing innovative applications, some of which will be sponsored by "meaningful and beneficial" ads that users will find helpful.


Google VP Rich MinerIn an interview with the BBC, Rich Miner, Google's VP for Mobile technology said Google is "marching to plan" from what they announced in November. While developers have been creating programs with the Android SDK since then, many consider the Mobile World Congress at Barcelona to be Android's coming-out party.

At this show, we're launching tomorrow morning a refresh of that software development kit with a significantly improved user interface and lots of additional capabilities. Around the show you'll see our partners demonstrating Android running on a number of different mobile phone platforms.

Miner dismissed Microsoft's figures of 20 million handsets deployed with Windows Mobile, saying that was a tiny fraction of the mobile market.

As Eric Schmidt said last November, we want to see thousands of [models of] phones based on Android. As those billion mobile phones all start to get messaging and media and online capabilities, we see Android starting to penetrate a very large percentage of those billion phones over the next 5 years.

So what does Google get out of Android? Does Android help in its battle with Microsoft?

It's important to realize that Android isn't so much 'Google' as it is the industries, and it's open. So what it gives the industry, and Google as a result of that, is an open software platform that Google, or anyone, can leverage to build their services and compete in a much more open market. I don't think of this as a battle with Microsoft; I think of it as innovation.

Google is an innovative company, we want to see innovation, and Android, by being open and not owned or closed by any one company, really enables innovation. If it enables innovation and it's open then Google will leverage that.

Miner went on to explain that Google will get a return on its investment through services that it launches on the platform, some of which will be ad-sponsored.

Because the platform is open, the users are not locked into using Google services. However, the services will be innovative and any ads will be helpful and in-context, so Miner hopes the users won't mind. "Typically, when the user sees ads from Google, they like the fact that they see those ads."

Ironically the interview was filmed on a Nokia N95 phone. Nokia is expected to continue development of its competing Symbian platform for the foreseeable future, despite increasing pressure from Linux-based platforms such as Android.

Topics: Nokia, Emerging Tech, Google, Mobility

Ed Burnette

About Ed Burnette

Ed Burnette is a software industry veteran with more than 25 years of experience as a programmer, author, and speaker. He has written numerous technical articles and books, most recently "Hello, Android: Introducing Google's Mobile Development Platform" from the Pragmatic Programmers.

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  • context-sensitive ads: first Gmail, now Gphones

    A few weeks back I asked about this and this interview with Rich Miner (what an appropriate name! Google = rich <data> miner) just confirms: Google intends to read, index, mine your phone communications. Courts have been looking at whether there can be reasonable expectation of confidentality and privacy with email and phone conversations. What if your cellular phone company mined your text messages or voice mail? Some readers say that the phone companies probably already do, but that doesn't make it right. If Microsoft did this, there would be an uproar, but so many people think Google is harmless. Google is leading the new information monoploy. Maybe I will get two phones, the free Googles-sponsored phone for junk use (like my Gmail account) and a special phone for business use.
    • Google: please make ability to opt-out of context-sensitive ads the default

      so users have to deliberately configure the phone to have their text messages and voice messages data-mined. Please do the same with the Google Toolbar tie-in with Adobe Reader and Adobe Flash, make it so users have to explicitly _select_ the checkbox to download/install Google Toolbar. How many users don't even see that "download Google Toolbar" pre-selected when they install or upgrade Adobe products.
      • That will be up to the carriers or the people selling the phones. Sinces it

        is completely open, Google can not force them to do anything.

        Now, since Microsoft's OS is proprietary, they CAN and WILL enforce defaults the way they want them.
        • Na?vet?

          It is extremely na?ve to believe Google will not have any control or force you to do anything. Google have too much power as it is, this is not a good thing. Google are out for it's share holders like every other company in the world not for us wee minnions who lap up their rubbish.
    • You can just get one phone

      "Maybe I will get two phones, the free Googles-sponsored phone for junk use and a special phone for business use."

      The phone operating system isn't ad-sponsored or locked into Google. You only get the ads if you choose to use a service that has them.
      Ed Burnette
  • RE: Google's Rich Miner: Users will see ads and like it

    Glad to see someone stepping up to end the stupid game of lock-down-the-customer.

    Real innovation has to start with the engineering, but somebody understands that changing the economics is the real innovative step here.

    I only hope there is a carrier that will allow these devices to work on their network without playing the same Stupid lock-down game.
  • Middleware connects Android, Windows, Symbian

    The real question is, with middleware becoming more and more intelligent, what happens when you have a single API and context-aware discovery for all devices? By abstracting the OS and software stack, you blur the lines between these devices and allow them to discover each other. This will bring true customer choice and open up the stack for development and allow people to communication and collaborate the way we actually work: peer-to-peer. There's already middleware out there that bridges Linux to Windows to Symbian CDC. Android will be coming later this year, even though it?s Linux based, but it has serialization issues, but it seems a weakness in their SDK.
  • RE: Google's Rich Miner: Users will see ads and like it

    If android is truly open, there will be version of Ablock for it. I'll run it on my phone just like I run it on every computer I use.

    And no, Google, I'm very seldom happy to see ads from you or anyone else. Little inline ads don't really bother me, but spinning, hopping, bouncing, moving ads bother me a lot.
  • "Rich Miner" 2.0 ?

    I thought "Rich Miner" was some sort of new database crawler that Google had invented. I was waiting to hear how Google "Geniuses" had invented a way to crawl Internet ads and come up with some type of insight or value.

    Nope...they just snowboard all day...
    • Try searching for his picture

      I tried to find a good picture of him on the net but a Google search for "Rich Miner" returned, as you can imagine, a lot of unrelated images.
      Ed Burnette