Internet pioneer and Google Vint Cerf was first up for the afternoon part of Google's Analyst Day. Cerf gave out some Internet stats, as a context for the world in which Google lives and CEO Eric Schmidt and co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page run the business:
- 1.244 billion users on the Internet
- 489 million hosts
- 459.5 million users in Asia, but only 12.4 penetration
- 234.8 million users in North America, 70 penetrated
Cerf also said that Google will be prepared to put up to the reserve price at time of 700 MHz auction.
Cerf was followed by Schmidt who started out by praising Cerf. "It's always a little amazing to me I get to follow a person who is really my hero, When you look around and see this campus, you see Vint," Schmidt said.
Schmidt went on to explain why Google has a lot of growth potential ahead. In analyst speak, the interpretation is the stock has a lot of upside ahead. "The primary goal of the company is to make money," Schmidt said.
"It's now become clear we are at the beginning of a massive transition to cloud computing. It's important to understand it's part of the global transition from one form of information sharing to another," he said.
"Google is exciting now because now you can see an integrated strategy for the company," Schmidt said.
What is the integrated strategy? Schmidt outlined it according to Google's three major areas of investment: search, ads and apps.
"Search is not a solved problem. We don't have a way take the knowledge in the enormous number of people who use search," Schmidt said. "Search is only as good as the content so it makes sense for us to do everything we can to get higher quality content." He pointed to Wikipedia as an example of the kind of content from users that Google sees as core to improving the quality of search results in the next phase, applying more data from users.
On the advertising front, Schmidt talked about targeted ads as providing value unto themselves. Advertising has actual value and is not something you largely have to suffer through as in the past, he said. "We use information we glean from computers and algorithms we developed to deliver extremely target ads, which are more valuable," Schmidt said. "That model should work in every market that you can do targeting. In each case the value to end user is in a target ad."
Schmidt said that users want targeted ads, as long as they are the right ads, deeper in the sense of much higher quality, broader in terms of more types of applications and global in terms of touching many markets with the same approach. "We are not done on the ad side," he emphasized.
In the applications space, Schmidt said that the sharing function is a fundamental differentiator from the past of client/server applications. "You can compare calendars with friends or colleagues. It seems trivial, but it is fundamental. It shows how the paradigm is so fundamentally different. Sharing has more function, and is viral and simple," he said.
Google is focused on driving applications into business. "Most people who run small businesses would like to throw out their infrastructure and use ours for $50 per years. It looks like it can get pretty big. They can do it for less price and complexity, and users want sharing and extensibility."
Earlier in the day, Dave Girouard, vice president and general manager of Google Enterprise, said that the company has 20 to 30 pilots for Google Apps with Fortune 1000 companies.
Basically, Schmidt sees Google moving forward on all three fronts, taking advantage the Internet's growth in users, broadband, browser improvements, faster product cycles, Web services, gadgets, social software and cloud-based delivery.
"The sum of all that and access and mobile comprise a strategy that should drive Google very far....it solves real user problems," he concluded.
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