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Google boss caught with a BlackBerry. So what?

Phones & PDAsWell. Search giant Google's chief executive uses a BlackBerry Storm instead of - or in addition to - a smartphone powered by the company's own mobile operating system, Google Android. My question is this: so what?

I'm doing my best keep this post from turning into a rabid rant, but I must say, I hate it when a slow day leads to news of this sort - the BlackBerry blogosphere, and the tech web in general, are abuzz with the 'news'. First of all, last time I checked, Google CEO Eric Schmidt is an American living in the free world. That means he has the freedom to choose whichever device, or devices, he pleases, yes?

If Schmidt, who was spotted with the Storm at a media summit last week, wants to use a Palm Pre, a BlackBerry Storm and a Nokia E71 all at the same time - well, he might be particularly susceptible to BlackBerry Thumb, but the man can do as he pleases. And that doesn't mean he's a worse CEO for it.

Google boss Eric Schmidt using a BlackBerry

The story reminds me of another similar piece from earlier this year about Bill Gates banning iPods and iPhones from his home. I remembering laughing at the story and rolling my eyes after reading, because it just seems so petty to ban or avoid great products because they're made by competitors. After all, the Gates family's refusal to employ Apple products really isn't going to hurt the Cupertino Crew. Nor will Schmidt's BlackBerry use have any sort of negative effect on the Android platform.

I'm willing to bet that Mr Schmidt also uses a number of Android devices - an HTC Magic or myTouch 3G, perhaps? But I wouldn't be surprised if he owns multiple BlackBerries, an Apple iPhone 3GS and a Windows Mobile device or two. Why not? This is the CEO of Google; why shouldn't he own and use ALL of the market's best smartphones?

Also, Google makes products and services for a variety of mobile platforms, including BlackBerry, iPhone and Windows Mobile. In other words, Google is literally partners with some of industries leading smartphone manufacturers - and Android rivals.

I've already wasted more time on this post than I probably should've but I'll end on the following note: I write for CXO Media, a subsidiary of the International Data Group (IDG), but I read and link to content from other originators - including stories from competitors - all the time. Doing so results in a more informed, well-rounded product, because I'm not only aware of my competitors' takes on certain issues, I often present those viewpoints to my readers so they can make their own decisions.

Personally, I think it's a good thing that Eric Schmidt uses a BlackBerry Storm. Perhaps Google will learn from RIM's mistakes and build related improvements when it introduces future Android software and devices.

See also:

Which smartphone platform should you choose?

Google Android review

T-Mobile G1 review

Vodafone BlackBerry Storm 9500 review

BlackBerry's lead over Apple iPhone won't last

Mobile phone advice

All mobile phone reviews

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