Eric Schmidt only has a few more months to call himself CEO of Google, but contrary to some reports, he won't be stepping away when he hands said title over to Larry Page. Not even close, in fact. In a lengthy talk with The Telegraph at the World Economic Forum last week, the Google bigwig discussed everything from his own future to the future of technology, and just about everything in between. While we'd highly recommend peeking the source link for the full scoop, there are a few gems worth separating. He made crystal clear that he's not "semi-retiring," and there was absolutely no fear about competition from Facebook in the decision. In fact, he feels that increased interest in Facebook will inevitably lead to increased interest in Google. Speaking about the future of search and social, he noted that from now on, "you need never be lonely," carefully adding that location-based activities will be there to bolster one's digital experience so long as they wish to opt-in. He also threw the gents and gals at Cupertino quite the bone, despite the fact that Google and Apple have had their own differences over the years. According to Eric:
"When I grew up it was basically about enterprises – IT. Today computer science is really about consumers and information. The rise of Google, the rise of Facebook, the rise of Apple, I think are proof that there is a place for computer science as something that solves problems that people face every day. There was only one company that saw that a decade before anybody else and that company is Apple. If you look even through the Nineties -- Sun, Microsoft, Novell, Cisco -- they were fundamentally infrastructure companies based around corporations. That is where the money was. There was almost no consumer use with the exception of Apple in people's daily lives. The big shift was over 10 - 15 years and it came with the development of the web."
As we said, the whole interview is most certainly worth a read.

[Image courtesy of Reuters / IB Times]

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Google's Eric Schmidt on the future of technology, his role change and Apple's turn toward consumers