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Google I/O: CEO Larry Page knocks Microsoft & Oracle as hard to collaborate with

by David Needle

May 15 2013

Larry Page spoke at Google I/O in front of a huge on-screen spinning image of the Earth.
Larry Page spoke at Google I/O in front of a huge on-screen spinning image of the Earth.

“Can’t we all just get along?” That’s not a direct quote from Google’s head honcho Larry Page, but it’s essentially the pitch he made before a packed hall of developers and estimated viewing audience of over a million on YouTube.

San Francisco -- During a surprise Q&A session wrapping up a morning of keynote presentations here at Google I/O, Page complained there was too much negative coverage of Google in the media and that two of its biggest rivals are hard to work with.

“I see some stupid story about how it’s Google against some other company,” said Page. “Being negative is not how we make progress and the most important things are not zero sum.”

Page said Google’s made efforts to share technology to advance the industry, but it hasn't always worked out. For example, he complained that Microsoft took advantage of Google's offer to make its chat service compatible with Microsoft’s, but that Microsoft didn’t reciprocate.

"We struggle with companies like Microsoft,” said Page. “We have a great relationship with Mozilla and value that greatly.”

Android and Java

Asked about how Google will continue to advance Android with Oracle controlling a piece of the software (namely Java), Page said Android is “important” and that Google will “get through it.”

But he also said Google’s had a “a difficult relationship with Oracle, including having to appear in court. We’d like to have a positive relationship with them, that hasn’t seemed possible. Money has been more important to them than any collaboration.”

Page also said his long term view is that the issue of platforms will go away. 

“As a developer, you shouldn’t have to worry about ‘should I develop for this platform or that platform’ it should run everywhere,” he said.

Over the next 50 years he expressed optimism that software and technology will help people and organizations better address the world’s most pressing problems. “People are starving in the world, not because we don’t have enough food, but because we’re not organized.” 

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