Eric Schmidt spoke with John Battelle on stage here at the Web 2.0 conference a few hours ago. There were some interesting new tidbits in their interview.
Eric broadly laid out two fundamental shifts that he sees in our near future: online video and software as a service. Online video is a shift toward watching videos on the Web with a focus on discovering related videos and sharing videos with friends.
Software as a service is a twist on the old idea of software moving off the disk and on to the network (a remote cluster of machines). The twist is a focus on reliability from using a large, shared cluster and on sharing and collaborating.
The prediction of an ascendance of online video might justify Google's YouTube acquisition. And, on that point, in response to a question, Eric made the incredible claim that YouTube is not violating copyright; whether objectively true or not, the fact that Google thinks it is true may also explain their willingness to pay an exorbitant $1.65B for YouTube.
Finally, a quick tidbit on hiring. In response to a question about attracting and retaining the best and brightest, Eric said, "People don't work for money. They work for impact." Very true. Money is not always the best motivator.
Update: Other good coverage from ValleyWag and PaidContent. [via Danny Sullivan]
Update: Video of this talk appears to be available.