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Google's Eric Schmidt focused on growing Android's share, admits it won't be 'perfectly controlled'

Darren Murph

During a wide-ranging Bloomberg interview with Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, the executive focused for a bit on the current status of Android, while also making a few interesting comments about its future. "This is a huge platform change; this is of the scale of 20 years ago -- Microsoft versus Apple," he said. Following that, he stated that Google was "winning that war pretty clearly now," referencing the 72 percent market share figure that was tallied up by Gartner at the end of Q3 2012. And with some 1.3 million Android devices being activated each day, it's hard to argue with the sheer momentum of the thing. Beyond all that -- phrases that have been said before by bigwigs at the company in roundabout ways -- things got particularly interesting when he pivoted to talking about his plans for the operating system's future: "The core strategy is to make a bigger pie. We will end up with a not perfectly controlled and not perfectly managed bigger pie by virtue of open systems."

In many ways, this touches directly on the fragmentation issue that's becoming more and more prevalent with each passing Android release. The longer the platform lives, the more people are being left behind on older builds. Without trying to read too closely betwixt the lines, it sure sounds as if Google's top priority is to get Android to as many people as possible, while letting the details -- things like percentage of Android users able to update to its latest version -- fall as they may. It's obviously a very different tactic from that taken in Cupertino, but then again, thinking differently sure hasn't hurt either of the two.

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