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FCW Insider: Talking to the best and the brightest

There are many things I love about my job. One of them is that I get to talk to amazingly smart people -—both in government and industry.

Today, FCW reporter Matthew Weigelt and I got the chance to have a few minutes with Google CEO Eric Schmidt for FCW's Fed 100 issue, which will hit the streets on March 24. And tomorrow morning, I get to attend the Northern Virginia Technology Council's Titans breakfast speech featuring Bill Gates, the former Microsoft CEO. Gates is on a DC tour. He was on the Hill today talking innovation. (AP story here written by former FCW'er Dibya Sarkar.) Gates was speaking before the House Science and Technology Committee. They have a release posted, but the link at the bottom to Gates' testimony is not working. Microsoft doesn't have it posted on its Web site yet. UPDATE: I found a copy of Gates' testimony, finally. (.pdf))

Back to Schmidt for a moment. Schmidt is a 2008 Fed 100 winner, so we were talking to him in that context. He seemed legitimately pleased to be selected. We didn't have all that much time and, frankly, I want you to read the story when it comes out March 24, but he is a fascinating and very smart guy. And regular readers know I am fascinated by Google. They just seem amazingly innovative and agile. So one of the things we talked about was Karen Evans. We all know Evans is OMB's administrator for e-government and information technology. Well, so does Schmidt. They e-mail each other. Weigelt asked him why, and he responded frankly: Because she is a customer. But we followed up by saying that clearly he doesn't respond to e-mails from all of his customers. But, of course, the government is a big potential market for Google. Clearly, Google recognizes that.

Google has had a lot of interaction with government agencies. DISA director Lt. Gen. Charlie Croom (also a Fed 100 winner) almost always mentions Google's innovation and processes in speeches, and he has been out to Google HQ several times. And Schmidt sat down recently with the President's Management Council. So I think the search giant definitely has an eye on this market.

And he had very nice things to say about Evans and what she is trying to accomplish. And it will come as no surprise that Schmidt is a big believer in software-as-a-service.

So tomorrow... the Gates view.

Posted by Christopher J. Dorobek on Mar 12, 2008 at 12:17 PM


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