All Eyes On Google

Mr. Schmidt prepares to go to Washington, while Microsoft fights to prove it can still be relevant in the tablet market.
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For once, tech news will not be all iPhone all the time this week. Because when Google's chairman, Eric Schmidt, prepares to testify before a Senate antitrust panel, Silicon Valley listens.

"Though the company and the times are different, there are echoes of a hearing before the same Senate body, the Judiciary antitrust subcommittee, 13 years ago and the last sweeping antitrust investigation of an American technology powerhouse, Microsoft," wrote Steve Lohr and Claire Cain Miller in The New York Times.

"Today Google, like Microsoft then, is both admired and feared," said Lohr and Miller.

As we enter the age where smartphones and tablets are more important than PCs, Google's market power, from search to apps, is undeniable. While Microsoft busily tries to convince developers that Windows 8 means it's back in the tablet race, Google races ahead with Android and Chrome.

[Stumped for creative solutions to vexing IT problems? Find some fresh ideas in 20 Innovative IT Ideas To Steal.]

Late last week, Richard Scoble and the Wall Street Journal's Kara Swisher both wrote of a Google competitor to the Flipboard app to run on Android tablets and the iPad.

Can Google out-Flipboard the most innovative news app on the iPad? That sounds pretty tough to me, but we shall see.

While Mr. Schmidt goes to Washington this week, his team will roll out mobile payment system Google Wallet and a few other interesting surprises. (Stay tuned to for more details.)

Microsoft fell behind on what its customers wanted from mobile, but Google never did.

Are you, as an IT leader, asking what your end user needs from you? At the InformationWeek 500 conference last week, San Francisco Giants CIO Bill Schlough told his fellow attendees that he had to give baseball fans more of what they got at home already. "Our competition is the couch," Schlough said.

"Delivering Wi-Fi and encouraging fans to use their portable devices at the park is one way Schlough's using IT to attract customers," wrote InformationWeek's Chris Murphy. Check out Schlough's advice, one of 9 killer insights for CIOs, fresh from the conference.

Laurianne McLaughlin is editor-in-chief for Follow her on Twitter at @lmclaughlin.

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