SAN FRANCISCO--Could the long-awaited marriage of the television and the Web be blessed by a search company?
Google is at least going to make an attempt, unveiling the signature announcement of Google I/O 2010, Google TV, before a crowd of developers at the Moscone Center Thursday. While Google will need developer support to make Google TV happen, the message wasn't entirely aimed at them.
Instead, in convening a panel of some of the most important CEOs in the world of consumer electronics--Sony, Best Buy, and Intel, among others--Google declared its intention to shake up the world of consumer devices the same way it has disrupted countless other industries in its 12 years as an organization. Google is attempting to do what the PC and consumer electronics industries have tried--and failed--to do for years: bring the nearly unlimited content of the Web to the large-screen TV while preserving the tried-and-true television experience that has enraptured three generations of Americans.
If this effort succeeds, there will be a new power broker in consumer electronics. And Google will have found a way to move past its identity as The Search Company in order to focus on a future based around Web-connected consumer-oriented software.
It's far from a slam dunk: powerful entrenched industries tend to not like it when Google comes knocking on their door. And tech conference demos alone--especially buggy ones--do not sell a product. But after the failed attempts of the Wintel duopoly (remember that?) to accomplish this goal in the last decade, Google is pushing ahead with its own take on the problem at a time when people might be finally ready to listen.
So what is Google TV? Essentially, it's an Android-based operating system for televisions and set-top boxes that fulfills one of the key goals that eluded the PC industry years ago: seamless integration of Web content and cable or satellite content.… Read more