The moment I saw Google execs pull out a full-size computer keyboard to showcase the power of Google TV, I knew that the product would disappoint. And it has.
In a post on All Things Digital, blogger Ina Fried cites a source who says there is a new version of GoogleTV in the works, with a projected release date slated for the holiday season. That makes sense. The company is hosting a session next week at the Google I/O developer conference about building apps for the Google TV platform, a strong sign that Google isn't pulling the plug on Google TV.
It's rare that a version 1.0 product makes a big consumer splash. Even though Google talked a good talk about the power of the on-screen technology over the hardware, the fact remained that there was a physical keyboard - with a trackpad mouse, no less - attached to it. But that wasn't it's only problem. It also struggled with some technical issues, as well as blocked content from networks and online video content providers. And the UI wasn't all that friendly either.
And then there was this other company, Apple, that re-launched its own TV product around the same time, though I wouldn't say that the two are very similar in approach or offerings. At the end of the day, Google still has a solid chance at breaking through on the TV front.
The concept behind Google TV is still a winner: bring all of the available content - whether on the cable/satellite system, over-the-air or online - to the big screen on the living room. The key is to bring a good search-for-programming experience to the users, without them having to bother knowing where that content resides.
But the company needs to find a way to get rid of that keyboard.
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