Google denies PC maker rumours

But hardware theories live on...
Written by Jo Best, Contributor

But hardware theories live on...

Google has denied reports it is to make any moves into the PC sector.

Rumours of a low-cost Google PC first surfaced following an article in the LA Times which quoted sources as saying the search giant was in talks with Wal-Mart and other retailers with a view to selling a Google computer.

In addition to denials from Wal-Mart, a Google spokeswoman quashed the idea that the search company had its eye on the personal computing market.

She told silicon.com: "The LA Times story is completely untrue," adding the company would prefer to work with its existing partners on PCs.

When queried over any plans Google may have to move into the wider hardware space, the company spokeswoman refused to be drawn.

Analysts have been speculating that rather than a cheap PC, the search firm may be looking to other home hardware such as a multimedia device to enable users to take content such as video or photos from a number of devices and distribute them via the internet.

Veteran industry watcher Robert Cringeley recently said in his blog that Google is "thinking of... providing to its customers" a small box, covered in various types of ports to connect to a number of possible media devices. "This little box is Google's interface to every computer, TV, and stereo system in your home, as well as linking to home automation and climate control," he added.

However, James Governor, principal analyst at Redmonk, said any move into media centre hardware is likely to be some way off for Google.

He said: "I think it might be a little bit early. It would be an extraordinary but not impossible step for Google to leap into the hardware device side.

"It's still not clear how they'd handle the operating system – what would this thing run on, especially from a multimedia standpoint. It isn't clear to me that beyond Google search, they've got the goods."

He added: "Embedded [computing] is not an area where you can jump right in – Microsoft has struggled to get it right for a decade."

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