What Eric Schmidt thinks 2014 will bring


The year is almost over, and one Google executive is already looking ahead to the turn of the calendar. I’m talking about ex-CEO and current chairman of the board Eric Schmidt, the man who saw Google through some of its best years before handing the reigns back to the two original gents who started the Mountain View company.

Speaking with Bloomberg, Eric Schmidt let us in on his thoughts about what would transpire in 2014. While he didn’t have any off-the-wall predictions to make in regards to mobile, he did let us know that he believed “everyone” would have a smartphone or mobile device in 2014.

While we’re sure that statement isn’t to be taken literally, the trends have indeed shown that smartphones and tablets are gaining in popularity at a much more aggressive rate than PCs. In fact, the two seem to be headed in completely different directions, with PC market share steadily declining over the past few years. That these tablets and smartphones are becoming as capable — if not more, in some cases — than traditional PCs has certainly helped, and 2014 should bring the innovation needed to drive that trend home.

Schmidt also touched on the social networking boom, and how Google wouldn’t underestimate the importance of being a major player in that arena like they have in the past. Google has tried many times in the past with things like Google Buzz, iGoogle and more, but ultimately failed.

Schmidt wasn’t above taking the blame for those failures, with the executive putting the missed opportunities on his own shoulders. Their latest attempt — Google+ — has already been a huge success, and you can bet they’ll be working to bring us even more social innovations in the year to come.

On the not-so-tech focused part of it, Schmidt says he thinks we’ll be seeing great ground broken in DNA and genetics, leading the way to unlocking the information needed to combat some of the world’s as-yet uncured diseases. We all hope that one turns out to be true for the sake of the world’s health. Be sure to watch the video above for his full slate of thoughts.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. My phone or tablet will NEVER replace my pc…stop it

    1. Couldn’t agree more! The other day I tried to use the Google Drive app on my iPad for school work but quickly grabbed the laptop when I realized there was no Word Count.

      1. I would dread taking a class where my reports required a specific number of words.

    2. Never say never ;)

      1. Until the ‘heavy-lifting’ experience on my PC is equalled by my tablets, then I have to agree with chris.

        1. The question is will you continue to upgrade your PC vs your phone or tablet? I have a 5 year old PC and I have no need for anything more. It was a beast at the time and still capable.

          1. At some point, yes, I will start upgrading components, but probably won’t feel the need to do so as often going forward. I built my home PC in 2010 and it’s still much faster than a 2012 Asus laptop and a 2013 MBA in the house.

          2. But my point being likely not as often as mobile. PCs got fast, PC software got fast so spec bumps or doubling of PC ram/CPU isn’t required. I think there is a huge difference in 2 year ago mobile not to mention the fact they get used more and take more abuse so overall likely have less life anyway. I think these factors will help fuel steady growth for a few years.

          3. Like the desktop/laptop market, the mobile market will also plateau. However you are also correct in saying they aren’t built to the same standards and hence will probably need replacing more often due to wear and tear.

          4. Certainly PC’s don’t require replacement as often as mobile devices. But the whole point here is that mobile devices will never *replace* PC’s. At least not in our lifetimes. And not for the purposes that full-powered PC’s serve today. Sure, perhaps far in the future mobile devices will be connected to hyper-intelligent AI systems and everyone will compute via the cloud, but that’s getting into esoteric hypotheticals.

          5. I agree that tablets have caused the laptop replacement interval to grow longer, but I don’t see them replacing laptops out right.

            I used to think a tablet would replace the POS laptop that my wifee used, leaving us with just tablets and the desktop, then the laptop got glitchy and we replaced it with a new, quality laptop. Now I’ll gladly grab the laptop to work on while sitting in the chair watching TV. The tablet is still good for sitting on the can or laying down, but it isn’t a laptop replacement.

            Ah, first world problems.

      2. Oh man you must be a Belieber….lot JK

    3. Yup. I don’t see how any phone or tablet will be able to encode HD AVC videos on DVD Architect or do things like with adobe Illustrator or photoshop does on my desktop. It’s great for smaller things, but phones don’t have the capacity to handle these easier things that the PC does.

      1. dvds are becoming more and more outdated. And Photoshop touch is pretty great, it’s not the tablets fault that it’s not up to par, it’s that the software isn’t

        1. Maybe you don’t have use for DVD’s, but I encode a lot of HD videos and encode them to Blu-ray discs with DVD architect with menus and all. Even with my 8 core CPU clocked in at 3.5, it takes a lot of hours to do. I can’t imagine how many hours it would take to encode that on a tablet and not to mention that the tablet wouldn’t even have the capacity to store those videos and encode them. Then, I would have no way to burn them into a Blu-ray disc on a tablet.

          you will not have all the option with a touch screen for photoshop as you do with a mouse and a keyboard. Not to mention that the cpu of the tablet wouldn’t properly handle the really large files very well. I just couldn’t imagine doing any of this on a tablet in a convenient way at all.

          Besides, it’s pretty cheap to upgrade a desktop computer, component by component as your needs evolve. I bought my last PC in 2007 and from there I’ve upgraded everything from the motherboard, to the ram, cpu, optical disc drive etc as I needed. I can’t upgrade a tablet at all, except buying a new one. Plus a much larger monitor than what a tablets offer. I like my Nexus 7 a lot, but I can’t see it do more than web browsing and gaming. No way it will replace my desktop.

          1. The majority of people use thier PC for nothing more than facebook and email. These are the people that will abandon the PC (if they haven’t already)

            There will always be a place for full-power PCs in a world of tablets, for the same reason there will always be a place for full-size pickups in a world of smartcars: heavy-duty work requires heavy-duty tools.

            This is why IBM is STILL able to sell AS400 mainframes, despite being replaced by PCs 30 years ago. Sometimes you just need the right tool for the job

    4. Have you used a Surface Pro 2? No need for a PC with one of those. You can even dock it and use a monitor and keyboard.

      1. Love my Surface Pro 2, but it’s funny because I never use it as a tablet. I just stick with my Nexus 10.

  2. What I’d like to see for Android in 2014:

    1) Android 5.0 – further consistency across different devices. Overhauls to UI for more fluidity and responsiveness. Further refinement to Projects Butter & Svelte. Entire OS support for Chromecast. Full ARMv8 / 64-bit support. Messaging app to finally compete with iMessage. Completed version of ART for full replacement of Dalvik to hopefully improve OS across-the-board. Unification of Android and ChromeOS in the way that Android 4.0 unified phones and tablets.

    2) More on unification of Android and ChromeOS: ChromeOS is very under-featured for its hardware capability. The back end of this OS should be Android and support the Play Store, file system access and file management, etc.

    3) ARMv8 / 64-bit support for both Android and Snapdragons, catch-up to Apple’s A7.

    4) Devices:
    Nexus: support all carriers, including the 100+ million Verizon customers (yea, i know).
    Nexus 7 2014: both 50% better battery life and slightly larger display to better compete with iPad Mini.
    Moto X-2: similar form factor but thinner, same great non-pentile 4.7″ OLED but with better color calibration. Better camera and improved SoC, hopefully ARMv8 based.

    1. I’m waiting for the next version of the Moto X as well. I could get one now, but I imagine a new version isn’t too far off, so I will wait. I’m still enjoying running 4.4.2 on my GS3, so I’m good for a while.

    2. The nexus 5 supports Verizon just fine, Verizon just refuses to allow it onto their network

  3. I can’t stand using my tablet if a laptop or desktop is within 5 FT. of it. (I own a nexus 7 and a nexus 10)

    1. Agreed. I love my tablet and phone gadgets. But they just don’t compare to a good laptop for functionality and usability.

      Right now people are jumping on the tablet bandwagon to try out the new buzz, this is likely delaying the replacement of their laptop. But when their laptop finally gives up the ghost, it will be replaced by a new laptop, not another tablet.

  4. Really, I just want to see them open up the Chromecast already.

    1. Chromecast costs twice as much in Canada than it does in the US. I was looking forward to buying it before I found that out but I won’t be buying it soon for $70.

  5. Google+ is a huge success? Only if you count users, as everyone has their Gmail account. Active users? Not nearly as many

    1. Based on which data? Google measures active users as active in the feed (consuming or posting content), not because you rated an android app. I am a big fan and most I know are active posters of pics and content. The auto awesome features to manage photos and group them and create videos is great! Facebook is a complete mess and while I have it, I rarely use it. The problem with Facebook is that it is just a social network and once it becomes uncool (as it is with kids and teens), it will turn into MySpace.

    2. Google+ is a huge success. Facebook is an absolute failure. See what I did there? Seriously though. If you’re even questioning this, you obviously haven’t tried to use the service or you tired to use it, but tried to use it the same way you use Facebook. It’s not Facebook. It’s no where close. It’s an actual social network platform based on the real world. Google+ is the most engaging network I’ve known. G+ has changed my life, for the better. I couldn’t have made the thousands of connections that I have made without it.

      1. I agree..G+ is more broad and encourages interactions with people you do not knowknow..also able to discover new content from others…..while as for FB…well……-_-

      2. I couldn’t agree more with the real world statement. G+ is very underrated and has huge potential of networking with amazing people, making new connections, discovering talent and people with common interests, and go beyond what Facebook is capable of providing us. Also if it weren’t for Google+, Derek and I wouldn’t have been able to literally chase down a pigeon together.

        1. You guys chased a pigeon??

        2. Meanwhile in the real world…

          1. Sorry I have to agree with lolwut here. I’m a CS student and even among us, I don’t know of a single person who actually uses G+ for actual social networking.

          2. I’m a CS student, and I use Google+ all the time. Especially after it gives you infinite photo and video backup storage when you set your options to standard auto-backup. Also there are plenty of programming communities, nerd communities, cat photo communities in Google+, you can join a community and then you will see posts from people in that community or post your own posts. Google+ is waaay better than Facebook, and while I do admit Facebook has more users, that doesn’t mean much in my book, especially since all of my family and half of my friends use Google+.

          3. Maybe for programming communities. I’ll see what I can find. I admit communities on Facebook suck and in general I find the whole thing a mess. What I meant was purely as a social network for keeping up with friends G+ doesn’t cut it because nearly nobody I know uses it. I tend to use the social network VK for communities and groups and find content much easier that way. I also don’t class automated photo and video backups as an integral part of the social features of Google+. I admit, I use the backup features.

    3. I agree with jak. Google+ is “doing well” because everyone has Gmail. Most people don’t even know what Google+ even IS. As for FB, I predict either they’ll turn it around this year and stop toying with their users or this will be the beginning of their downward spiral. If Google+ can find a way to jump in to get market share, NOW is the time.

  6. I would love if my phone could replace my PC. Give me some good mirroring on my Chromecast so i can use my TV as a second screen and I’m sold.

    I would also love to see ART be implemented as a full replacement of Davlink. It so much faster.

    As for 64 bit processors. I think we will see them in the next coming months, but I hope that also come with 4GB RAM.

  7. The problem with Eric Schmidt is that he typically has no idea what the hell he’s talking about.

    Here’s a start:

    Google around; he says asinine stuff all the time

    1. Some of those are not really accurate anymore or never were. For example, Facebook is already heading in the wrong direction and it will eventually go the way of MySpace. Groupon is still showing no profit, nor would it have added any true value to Google. So these so called big mistakes weren’t really that big.

  8. Who is actually listening to Eric “purple unicorns surround me” Schmidt?

    1. I’ve never been called a purple unicorn before, but I listen to every word this man says. Sure, he wasn’t correct about Google TV, but generally speaking his visions are more correct than not.

  9. I think he’s dead wrong on the non tech side, even if DNA and genetics are improved and diseases can be cured it will be shelved and saved for the wealthy like himself lol. Too much profit in treating sickness not curing it.

  10. Google will continue to optimize Android for sure and I really do wish manufacturers would slow down the pixel and CPU race and seriously start a “battery-life spec race” where we can get 2 or 3 days screen-on-time and 14 days standby

  11. “That these tablets and smartphones are becoming as capable — IF NOT MORE, in some cases — than traditional PCs”

    Would you like to clarify this ridiculous statement?

    1. The question might be “Capable” of what?

      Capable of fitting into a purse or pocket? The 2013 Nexus 7 can fit into some front pants pockets.

      Capable of going with you anywhere, even where a laptop is not acceptable? In church, for example, instead of the bulk of a Bible and/or other books. In some classrooms?

      Obviously a tablet is not MORE capable of certain things that a desktop PC or high end laptop can do, especially in processing capability. But in some ways, the limits on tablets are mere software limitations. As an example: while you cannot run Photoshop on a tablet, this is just a matter of software — if there were enough demand, someone would build an app and that category of apps would begin maturing over time.

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