Google CEO: Android Not a Critical Asset

Android and Java logosGoogle’s Android system isn’t “critical” to the company’s success, although it’s an “important” part of its future, according to testimony this week from Google CEO Larry Page as the company tries to defend itself in its legal battle with Oracle.

Google and Oracle’s courtroom clash began Monday. At issue is whether Google used Oracle’s Java technology within its Android operating system without obtaining the necessary licences, with Oracle seeking damages as high as $1 billion.

Page dismissed claims that Android was a critical part of the firm’s future, as he was questioned by lawyer David Boies, who also cross examined Bill Gates in the 1990s during Microsoft’s famous anti-trust lawsuit, Reuters reported.

Page’s claim that the system isn’t vital to the firm comes as Google prepares to part with $12.5 billion for the purchase of Motorola, chiefly to take ownership of the firm’s patent portfolio to help it fend off numerous patent lawsuits being leveled against the platform.

Under further questioning from Google’s own lawyers, Page admitted Google wanted to use the Java technology developed by Sun Microsystems, subsequently bought by Oracle, but had been forced to take other routes.

“It would have saved us a lot of time and trouble to use Sun’s technology. When we weren’t able to have our business partnership, we went down our own path,” he said.

Page is likely to return to the courtroom to face further questioning as the trial continues.

On Tuesday Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison said he had mulled over the idea of the company launching its own smartphone as well as possibly acquiring another vendor such as Research in Motion or Palm.

This article was originally published on V3.

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