Oi, Schmidt! WAKE UP!!
According to the official conference agenda, Schmidt is taking "to the stage to share his thoughts on everything relating to mobile and the internet." Jeepers -- that's going to take a long time, isn't it? He must be starting very early and finishing late if he's going to share all those thoughts.
Well, he's certainly finishing late...
You see, the keynote sessions at MWC are usually held during the mornings, as, indeed, all of this year's are too... except for Eric's. His Tuesday, February 16 keynote presentation starts at 5:45 p.m. (when, frankly, everyone's brain is frazzled and can only just comprehend the price of a cerveza and some patatas bravas).
The official line is that his presentation is being Webcast via the Mobile World Live Website run by the MWC's owner and organizer, the GSM Association (GSMA) , and that late in the afternoon is the optimum time of the day to attract the greatest online audience.
The unofficial line -– that is, the one we've heard from warm bodies with links to the event and with their fingers on the pulse –- is that Schmidt simply doesn't do "early." And because Spain is such a long way away from California (a nine-hour time difference), he won't be getting up, scratching his Googles, and heading for the MWC lectern at any time before the sun rises over the West Coast sands.
Of course, as the CEO of one of the most powerful companies in the world, Schmidt can call the shots. So if his jet lag agenda dictates a late keynote start, then that's what it'll be.
Let's hope, at least, that he'll be compos mentis enough to say something stimulating and worthwhile, and that he won't just take the opportunity to wave the virtual Android banner: The thousands that will no doubt strain their sinews to be in the same auditorium, and breath the same air, as the Googlemeister himself (thus keeping them from the tapas delights and dubious holes in the wall of Barcelona's Old Town) deserve a few talking points, and some meaningful mental stimulation, at the very least.
So, WAKE UP ERIC, and bring it on! (Could we be any more supportive?)
You'll be able to find out what Eric said (if anything other than a "Jeez, I'm so tired...") by checking out our Mobile World Congress show site, where you'll find all our pre-show video interviews and news previews, plus up-to-the-minute reports from MWC itself (including our popular vendor booth tour photo essays) once the show gets underway.
Don't forget to say hello if you see any of the Light Reading team in Barcelona, whether you're awake or not!
— Ray 'Up All Night' Le Maistre, International Entertainments and Refreshments Editor, Light Reading