The US Public to Discover Google TV This Fall

As was promised at the company’s annual I/O developer conference in May, Google will launch its “Google TV” product to bring the Web to TV screens in the US this autumn and worldwide next year. 

Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt, told delegates at the IFA technology show in Berlin that the new web-to-TV service would give users the ability of full Internet browsing on their TVs, would be free, and that Google would work with a variety of programme makers and electronics manufacturers to bring it to consumers.

We will work with content providers, but it is very unlikely that we will get into actual content production,” Schmidt told the press.

Last week Sony agreed to incorporate Google TV on their TV sets, while Samsung is seeking a similar deal. This announcement comes just a week after rival Apple renewed its interest in web TV services, and will intensify a battle for consumers’ attention and potentially for the £117 billion GBP global TV advertising market. Apple unveiled a new Apple TV device that can stream movies and TV shows directly to a user’s TV, and allows them to easily listen to or watch content stored on other devices around the home.

Google TV will be powered by Google’s Chrome operating system, due to be launched soon, and will users to turn their consoles into something more than just an instrument to watch video content – “it can be a photo slideshow viewer, a gaming console, a music player and much more”, states their official blog.

The web search industry giant plans to make Chrome, which competes with Mozilla’s Firefox and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, the centre of an OS that will offer an alternative to Microsoft Windows. The Mountain View-based company is certainly seeking new revenue opportunities as new technologies such as smart phones and social networking services transform the way consumers access the Web.

Schmidt refused to comment of Google’s plans for a social network of its own, codenamed Google Me, however, he said there were plans to expand in music, and that Google was already in talks with music labels for a music download store and a digital song locker.

Google TV and Apple TV will certainly compete with one another, but they really offer different sets of functions. Apple brings web content to your TV, whereas Google’s aim is to let your search across your TV service provider and the web in one “seamless” experience. “Apple is approaching the market in a typically Apple-like way. The device is proprietary and will rely on the huge content they’ve amassed through iTunes,” said Dan Olds, an analyst with The Gabriel Consulting Group. “I’m not sure if there will be as much independent apps development around Apple’s device. It looks more like a conventional set-to box rather than a platform like Google TV.”

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