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Former Google CEO (and former Apple board member) Eric Schmidt was first in the hot seat Tuesday night at the ninth annual AllThingsD conference, which was streamed live for the first time. Amidst a lot of Google talk was quite a bit of chatter about Apple, including a recommendation from Schmidt himself to get a Mac.
AllThingsD’s Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher sat down with former Google CEO Eric Schmidt last night to kick off their D9 Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, where Glee star Jane Lynch made a surprise cameo as the faux interim News Corp. boss, doing her best Rupert Murdoch with a touch of Sue Sylvester from the Fox TV show.
Despite the ongoing rivalry between Apple and Google, Schmidt wasn’t shy about sharing his love for Cupertino’s products, including the company in his “gang of four” theory -- four major tech companies with huge platforms and dominance that won’t be easily unseated. Of course, Google makes up one of the four, as does Apple, with Amazon and Facebook included. That’s right, even Google’s former head seems to think Microsoft has had its day.
When Mossberg questioned the rivalry between Apple and Google, Schmidt was quick to reveal, “We have a very, very good search partnership” with Apple, noting that the two companies had just renewed their deals on both maps and search -- which seems to indicate that maybe Apple won’t be rolling out their own maps, as recently rumored.
Kara Swisher let slip a humorous quote told to her by Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who referred to Android as “a probe in your pocket,” referring to how Google’s mobile OS sucks the information you give it back into their search engine. “We could do it too,” Jobs reportedly said, “but we don’t have a search engine to process it.” For their part, Schmidt denied the accusation, claiming that Google doesn’t use such data against search.
Last but not least, Schmidt was quite candid on the subject of his favorite platform, suggesting that users concerned about security ditch their Windows PC in favor of a Mac, while also recommending Chrome as the most secure web browser. Apple also made an appearance during the post-interview demo of Google Wallet, where Stephanie Tilenius showed how the system works on a MacBook Pro.
The D9 conference continues Wednesday and wraps up on Thursday; other interviews include HP CEO Léo Apotheker, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega and Jack Dorsey, CEO of Square.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter
(Image courtesy of AllThingsD)