Technology has contributed to the complexity of life. How many devices are you carrying around?
Right now, I am carrying only one. But I test a lot of devices. We build phones and we provide software for phones so I am testing a lot of products also from our partners at any given time.
You didn’t even have a phone until you were 12 years old. How did you get interested in computers?
Yes, that’s true. Imagination is very powerful. As a kid I was always fascinated by technology. I read a lot about computers and understood what they were before I could actually use one.
What was your favorite book?
Wow, that is a tough choice with all the books that I read. The books that Influenced me most where from authors like Charles Dickens. But I read a lot about how semiconductors were built in Silicon Valley and the story behind it in computer magazines. I tried to learn about Hewlett Packard, how they build something so important but never forgot about the right values. These were the kind of stories that influenced me. I always had a love for computers and for technology and I sensed very early that technology could dramatically improve life. When I finally had access to computing I realized how dramatic the impact was. I was very inspired by the “one laptop-per-child-project” because I always wanted to play a part in making computing accessible to as many people as possible. That’s the reason behind projects like Android where we are making high quality smartphones cheaper and more affordable to everyone. AI will play the same role of leveling access to knowledge and information for more people than ever before in humanity.
But Android is getting more expensive now after you decided to turn to a licensing model for some of your Google-Apps on smartphones. This came as a response to the antitrust-fine the EU commission imposed on Google last summer.
We disagree with the decision and think that the benefits that the Android systems has brought are very clear. But we take our responsibilities seriously and part of our responsibility is to comply with laws and rulings. Obviously it's a high-scale investment today to make a state-of-the-art mobile operating system. We need to invest heavily in the platform to make sure it is reliable and provides users with the security they need. We want it to do well. But we need to have a sustainable business model. There are many ways in which we could do this. As part of our compliance with the European Commission ruling, we've changed the licensing model for our services on top of Android. That means we are now offering different business models around the world.
What does this mean for the user?
We have balanced the need of providing an open platform with a sustainable business model and I think we have done it in a way in which it works for the industry and it works for our users. Actually, we still don't charge for Android. Now, in Europe, partner phone makers can, if they want, buy a license to Google Play and a suite of our other apps. We also have new, optional commercial arrangements to distribute Google Search and Google Chrome on partner phones.The phone industry plans for their phones well in advance so it takes time to roll out the changes. We will only see the effect in months or even years.