Sony embracing an open platform like Google TV for its home electronics business is a pretty big change for the company.
And Sony's Chairman and CEO tends to agree. "It seems very un-Sony-like," Sir Howard Stringer allowed at a press conference Thursday afternoon following the introduction of Sony Internet TV, the first TV with the Google TV platform. Sony's TV will run Android OS and use Google search to allow users to browse and watch programming from the Web and from a channel service provider.
In the official announcement Thursday was this quote from Google CEO Eric Schmidt: "We believe that open systems lead to more innovation, value, and choice for consumers, which is why we are so proud to work with Sony to bring the power of the Android platform to more consumers around the world."
Longtime followers of Sony would likely do a double-take when they see the words "open" and "Sony" linked together. But it could be the beginning of something new for the Japanese electronics giant. It's actually made baby steps lately toward being more open, finally agreeing to sell gadgets compatible with SD cards instead of Sony's proprietary Memory Stick format, and Sony Ericsson delivering an Android phone. Now it's embracing the concept of open with TVs.
And that's good for Sony, because the company needs something to change with TVs. They've fallen behind to third in TV sales overall, and in general have had trouble getting all of the company's moving parts from all over the world to work together to match up the company's trove of content with its significant brand recognition. But this Google TV could be a sign of the better things to come. … Read more