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Eric Schmidt Goes To AOL

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Looks like Google CEO Eric Schmidt is lecturing AOLers, now that Google owns a piece.

AOL Senior VP Sree Kotay was there, and while he says it was mostly back-patting over the new deal, there was this illuminating exchange:

I don’t remember, verbatim, the question, but the gist of it was, “At AOL, we tend to have Programmers that offer our members a very managed experience that comforts them, whereas at Google, its much more automation and technology oriented – can you comment on this philosophy difference?”

And Eric replied, “When you say Programmer and we say Programmer, we mean very different things Does that answer the question?”

Damn. If ever anyone pointed out the differences between AOL’s development and Google’s, that was it. Sometimes Eric can put something just right.

Of course, I subscribed to Sree’s blog because he develops software at AOL, and I’m extremely interested in how AOL’s software is evolving. AOL’s new products, like Triton and Explorer, are trying to reach that middle ground between Web 2.0 and the one thing Web 2.0 always forgets: consumers.

AOL is trying to develop modern software while not ignoring regular users, and they’re creating feature-rich software while at it. AOL Explorer, their browser, is an excellent example, and AOL is designing lots of cool software (read Sree’s post on their custom user interface toolkit, Boxely). Google could learn a lot from AOL about developing for users, and Google can help AOL get noticed as more than just the floppy disk mailer company.

Nathan Weinberg writes the popular InsideGoogle blog, offering the latest news and insights about Google and search engines.

Visit the InsideGoogle blog.

Eric Schmidt Goes To AOL
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