Google Chairman Eric Schmidt speaks during a press conference at Google Korea's office in Seoul, Tuesday. / AP-Yonhap
By Kim Yoo-chul
Google Chairman Eric Schmidt accused Microsoft (MS) of making unfounded claims Tuesday that its Android operating system (OS) was stolen from MS.
``Microsoft is not telling the truth,’’ Schmidt told reporters in a news conference at Google’s Seoul branch building. Android is the key OS for non-Apple smartphones.
Schmidt’s remarks follow MS’s patent dispute with Samsung Electronics that recently ended in a cross-licensing deal. It was seen as part of efforts by Samsung to concentrate on fighting Apple.
Schmidt didn’t aim his fiery words at Steve Jobs, the late leader of Apple. In his posthumously-published book, Jobs was quoted as saying, ``I will spend my last dying breath if I need to...to right this wrong. I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product.’’
The Google chief said, ``Most people agree Google is a great innovator. The Android effort started before the iPhone effort.”
Schmidt sat on the Apple board for three and a half year. He and Jobs were friends for two decades. “I am still very sad,’’ he said.
Schmidt praised Samsung as its leading Android user and confirmed Google’s continuous support.
He defended Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility, saying it is not a violation of openness.
LG Electronics and Pantech as well as Samsung are Android users with carriers SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus aggressively promoting the sale of Android smartphones.
But Schmidt declined to confirm reports about Google’s plan to buy Korea’s second-biggest search engine Daum Communications.
``I can’t talk about any mergers and acquisitions. I will not make any comments on that,’’ said the chief executive. The Korea Exchange asked Daum to make public its intentions.
Since Google entered the Korean search market in 2004, its share has stalled behind Daum and the market leader Naver.
Schmidt said regulations on the Internet in Korea could be more open.
``Some regulations in Korea have fallen a little bit behind. Other countries have more liberal policies about the Internet,’’ he insisted.
Google had refused to accept the Korean government’s order to require users to use their real names when uploading videos on YouTube.
Last year, Google closed Android market’s game category for Korean users in order to bypass obligations to rate mobile games before their release.