Here are snippets from Google's fourth quarter earnings conference call, featuring co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page plus Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt.
Operating System, Shmoperating System: What are the chances of a Google operating system any time soon? Schmidt said it's "not an interesting opportunity."
Frying Up The Bacon: Google's going to spend the bulk of its capital expenses on lots more servers (computer networking technology) and data centers, which perform Internet search tasks like cataloging Web sites or serving up localized features. A small percentage of Google's capital expenses are for building additional office space.
China's Hard Lesson: A Google exec performed admirably with the grim task of barely answering a question concerning China, where Google recently agreed to censor search results in order to get a business license. Google's a big hit with China's advertising resellers, apparently.
Hardware's No Where: Schmidt said there was no point to Google building, and selling, home or office electronics. Rather, its partnerships like the one with Dell is more like it. Building hardware, he said, "was the last war." But where does that thinking leave Google Enterprise, and its growing line-up of Internet search products that Google manufactures and sells to businesses?
No Flashing: Google's got standards when it comes to the ads its adSense program places on hundreds of thousands of Web sites. The rule? Nothing "really flashy," Brin said. Screaming Google-placed ads have been a concern ever since Google agreed to buy a slice of America Online, and more prominently display AOL's more attention-getting ads.