Google CFO plays down Samsung conflict talk, touts Chromebook mojo

"I think that both Samsung and ourselves have benefited not only on the Android side but also on the Chrome side," says Google CFO Patrick Pichette,
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Google CFO Patrick Pichette played down reports that his company's relationship with Samsung was becoming strained and noted that "journalists love big headlines that sell newspapers." The comments came amid a bevy of hardware-related comments.

Pichette was referring to a Wall Street Journal report this week noting Google was worried about Samsung's dominance. More:  Yes, Google (and partners) should be worried about Samsung's Android dominance | Google 'worried' by might of Samsung on Android  | Chromebook wars: Pixel vs. Samsung Series 5 550


Speaking at a Morgan Stanley investment conference, Pichette fired back:

We have a terrific relationship with Samsung. They've been very successful with the Android platform. They benefited just like the rest of the ecosystem. We welcome all of the partners that we have on our Android platform and continue to innovate. And what our objective and our aim is to make sure that as many partners in the ecosystem continue to benefit from these open source platforms.

I think that both Samsung and ourselves have benefited not only on the Android side but also on the Chrome side. The Chromebook is a runaway success; it's a runaway success for Google, it's a runaway success for Samsung. And so, what is not to like about these types of environments. I just think journalists love big headlines that sell newspapers.

Hardware was a recurring theme for Pichette, who touted Chromebooks as well as Google's acquisition of Motorola Mobility. Pichette said that the Motorola deal needs more time.

You invest for the long term, but we have inherited 18 months of pipeline that we actually have to drain right now and while we are actually building the next wave of innovation and product lines.
And so far, as we said many times in the past, we have to go through this transition. This is not -- these are not easy transitions. We are very optimistic, we are very supportive and we have kind of great plans for Motorola. But for the coming -- for the last few quarters you have seen the announcements of restructurings and rationalization of product lines and this has to kind of continue over the next few quarters while we actually kind of make that cross over.

So there is still kind of really kind of hard work to be completed at Motorola before we see tangible signs. But we also very optimistic because since day one we have started working on the next agenda and we see that pipeline kind of showing up.

Regarding the Chrome OS, Pichette talked that topic up too. He said:

There is a better mousetrap and it has been invented and it is called Chrome OS. If you are in enterprise today the benefits of Chrome OS and the Chrome infrastructure is to have the equivalent of a desktop is one-sixth the price of a traditional answer.

And so if you are a 350 or 400 or 500 people kind of company, that is millions of dollars that you can reinvest into your business, because -- into the development of your product or the servicing of your product rather than just having sitting on your desk just a hardware and software just to run your business.

Not only that, but Chrome OS is actually immensely secure. The Chrome platform has been proven, you have seen these tests where we have these hacker weeks where we try to kind of that people break into the systems. And if you are a business, to actually have -- security is like oxygen to a business if you think of your data. You take it for granted until you have a breach and like everything kind of stops.

The Chromebook that was launched last fall has been a runaway success, absolute runaway success. We couldn't keep up with demand. And through the holidays and it has been a terrific kind of testimony that people want ease-of-use -- beautiful, simple -- there is a minimum standard they expect, but for the right price point they love the product.

Add it up and the overall message from Pichette was clear. Google is serious about hardware integration and melding its services even if it's efforts largely remain a work in progress.


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