Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt was on stage today at AllThingsD’s Dive Into Mobile event in NYC, talking about his book and his vision for Google. When asked about how he and Google feel about projects that take Android as their base and then build something different with them, like Amazon’s KindleOS or Facebook Home. Schmidt’s response was extremely positive.
On the subject of Android forking and Facebook Home, he responded “I think it’s fantastic.” “This is what open source is all about,” he said, adding that he “suspect[s] it’s one of the few reasons Android is the number one solution right now.” At the time of its unveiling, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that his company didn’t even have to work with Google to make Home a reality.
That, and Facebook Home UX features, like the removal of the Google search bar from the home screen, and in general the backgrounding of various Google features, led some to speculate that it isn’t exactly something Google would be thrilled with. Google issued an official statement on the matter, talking about how it “demonstrates the openness and flexibility that has made Android so popular.”
Schmidt’s statement stuck to the company line but also went further, indicating an enthusiasm for efforts like those undertaken by Facebook and Android. He said that people who don’t work with open source technology can’t seem to understand the value of people taking your OS and doing something different with it, but at Google, there’s a genuine appreciate for those kinds of projects.
“This is called ‘what Android is about,'” he said later in response to a question by Business Insider’s Steve Kovach. “[Facebook] read the rules and they adhered to them. If you look at what Facebook did they maintained full application compatibility. I think it’s a tremendous endorsement of the platform and what it can do.”