Sundar Pichai is Google’s Senior Vice President, and if you’re a tech-savvy person interested in technology, chances are you’ve heard his name before. Mr. Pichai has been with Google since 2004, and has managed to get involved in various aspect of Google ever since. Mr. Pichai has actually been the main figure at the Google’s Developers Conference (Google I/O) this year. This man is actually involved in Chrome, Android, Chrome OS, Search, Google Drive, Maps… and a number of other Google products. Sundar Pichai is more or less running Google’s operations lately, he was appointed by Larry Page himself.
That being said, The Verge actually talked with Mr. Pichai during the Google I/O, and he had a lot to say. Mr. Pichai intends to improve various Google products through machine learning, and push their services to even more people all around the world. Google, and its employees, always say that they’re working in order to benefit people, that they’re trying to change their lives for the better through technology. Google has released a ton of services since it was founded, and has managed to change the course of technology, that much is for sure.
More or less everyone who has worked with / met Mr. Pichai says he’s a nice and friendly person, and he does leave that impression. According to The Verge, Sundar Pichai is very proud of the fact Google’s products work the same for everyone, no matter if you’re loaded or the opposite of that, and it seems like the company is going to push things in that direction even more. The company’s ‘Project Ara‘ modular smartphone operation will hit Puerto Rico first, which was hard to believe when we first heard about it a couple of months ago, but it was confirmed during the I/O. For those of you who don’t know, this is the first Google I/O Sundar Pichai was in charge off.
When asked about ‘the next billion’, a rather common phrase around Google referencing the next billion of users Google is aiming for, this is what Mr. Pichai had to say: “The entire PC industry reached about 1.7 billion people. [But with mobile,] we are truly dealing with the first computing platform [that] is going to touch people at scale. I can see a clear path to getting over 5 billion users one day. I think just in the last 12 months there [have been] over 600 million users who for the first time have had access to a modern computing platform. A smartphone, effectively. So we deeply care about it,” and he added the following: “At our core, we want to build products for everyone. At a basic level, at a foundational level, [that means] both providing computing and making it accessible, which is why we are interested in Android One [and] affordable Chromebooks. And thinking about connectivity over time, [that] is why we are doing things like Project Loon.”
Google’s Android OS is very popular in China, but Google’s services are, for the most part, blocked. When asked about that, Sundar Pichai said that the Chinese smartphone market is very unique, and that Google would love to serve their services to people in China, but we’ll have to wait if that happens. Mr. Pichai has also talked a bit about other Google projects, like ‘Project Loon’ and ‘Project Fi’ for example, both of which are highly optimistic. Google’s SVP has once again said that the company’s goal is to reach everyone, and the two projects are going to help with that immensely. Google’s has shipped over a billion smartphones in 2014, and they’re looking for ways to increase that number.
Another interesting tidbit from the interview has to do with Microsoft. Sundar Pichai was asked to comment on the recent reports that Microsoft is planning to run Android apps on Windows Mobile. Google’s SVP said that there are “many efforts underway like that, right?”, and that it’s nothing new. He reiterated that Android is open source, and that it’s good to see efforts like that. This is what he had to say for the end of his interview after being asked what’s personally important to him (in Google’s business): “The thing that attracted me to Google and to [the] internet in general is that it’s a great equalizer. I’ve always been struck by the fact that Google search worked the same as long as you had access to a computer with connectivity, [whether] you were a rural kid anywhere or a professor at Stanford or Harvard,” and he added the following: “And going back to our core mission, when we do things like machine learning and assist users, I view that as a huge game changer. Because over time, someone who has [access to] just a smartphone hopefully has…the same [capabilities] as someone who is more privileged. That’s what’s very exciting about what we are doing.”