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Larry Page: Steve Jobs and I were friendly 'at times'

The Google CEO says that while Apple is a competitor, discussions between his company and Apple are ongoing.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read
Larry Page
Larry Page Google

Google CEO Larry Page was friendly with Apple co-founder Steve Jobs off and on, Page says in a new interview.

Speaking to Fortune in an interview published today, Page said that he and the late Apple co-founder were friendly "at times." He failed to elaborate on when he wasn't so friendly with Jobs. He did, however, hint that it might have had something to do with Android.

In Walter Isaacson's biography of Jobs, the Apple co-founder said that he was willing to go "thermonuclear war" over what he believed was Google's theft of Apple's ideas for the Android operating system. In response, Page said earlier this year that he believed the outrage was not necessarily genuine, and was used by Jobs to rally his troops.

It seemed at the time as though Page meant there was no anger between him and Jobs. But he told Fortune that while he believes Jobs' comments might have been for appearance' sake, that was only "partly" so.

"I don't like to rally my company in that way because I think that if you're looking at somebody else, you're looking at what they do now, and that's not how again you stay two or three steps ahead," Page said without elaborating on his feelings towards Jobs.

Moving on to other topics, Page centered his talk on Apple, saying that while the iPhone maker is a competitor, the companies are in talks quite often.

"We have a big search relationship with Apple and so on, and we talk to them and so on," Page said.

Page, who kept his feelings about a host of topics close to the vest in the interview, also had this to say:

  • He's "very happy" with his decision to restructure Google around product groups. The idea was to streamline Google's operations and get certain products to the market more quickly.
  • Responding to concerns that mobile is the next advertising frontier, Page said that he believes his company is the only one that's "positioned to transition and innovate in mobile advertising and monetization."
  • Page complained about the Internet's "island-like approach" that, he says, reduces collaboration between companies and hurts users.
  • When asked about why there hasn't yet been a Nexus device from Motorola, a company Google acquired earlier this year, Page said that Google hasn't "owned [Motorola] long enough."