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Google CEO Larry Page Talks Steve Jobs With Bloomberg Businessweek

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In a new interview with Bloomberg Businessweek's Brad Stone, Google co-founder and CEO Larry Page revealed how the web giant is doing now, what lies ahead, and how it's faring with its competitors one year after he stepped in to take former CEO Eric Schmidt's place.

In addition, Page shed a little light on his relationship with his mentor and Apple's late co-founder and CEO, Steve Jobs.

According to recent reports, Jobs didn't seem to be a very big fan of Google's. In a section of Walter Isaacson's popular biography on the Jobs' life, Jobs explains his fury following the launch of Google's Android operating system. Speaking to Isaacson, the Apple co-founder said he was "willing to go thermonuclear war" on Google and briefly laid out his company's retaliation plan:

Our lawsuit is saying, "Google you f***ing ripped off the iPhone, wholesale ripped us off." Grand theft. I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple's $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product."

Larry Page, however, has a different take on this now-famous outburst. He spoke with Bloomberg of his talks with Jobs and reflected fondly on the advice Jobs gave him about running a company.

"I think the Android differences were actually for show," Page told Businessweek.

He later continued thus:

I think that served their interests. For a lot of companies, it’s useful for them to feel like they have an obvious competitor and to rally around that. I personally believe that it’s better to shoot higher. You don’t want to be looking at your competitors. You want to be looking at what’s possible and how to make the world better.

For Page, making the world better seems to mean expanding Google beyond search, not only with Android, but also with web-based services like the Chrome web browse and social network Google+. "I think what we’re about is we’re about using large-scale kind of technology — technology advancements to help people, to make people’s lives better, to make community better," Page told Bloomberg. "Obviously, our mission was organizing the world’s information and making it universally accessible and useful, and I think we probably missed more of the people part of that than we should have."

But Google's focus on the social space also pits the company against social networking giant Facebook, creating a competition that, according to the AP, is one of the most troublesome challenges facing Page as CEO.

"Larry is driven by his paranoia about Facebook. Clearly, these are two companies at war with each other," said Ken Auletta, author of "Googled: The End of the World As We Know It," per the AP.

Visit Bloomberg Businessweek to read the rest of Larry Page's interview.

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