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Bac 2011 G1-G2 Series (Oral)

For the past few years, tech companies have been trying to find a way to bring the Internet and television together, without much success. Sure, there are lots of little boxes you can attach to your TV that let you download many things from the Internet. Each content you download gives you a little something different, but not all of them give you the whole Internet.

Now Google is out to replace all that with Google TV, the software program that will come right into some TV sets, basically turning your TV into a computer.

Just as the Internet has transformed the tiny mobile-phone screen you carry around in your pocket, thanks to devices like Apple's ¬°Phone and the many Android smart phones, it may now transform that huge screen in your living room. "We've seen how the Web has transformed the mobile industry. The next device is the TV', says Rishi Chandra, a product manager at Google.

If Google TV works the way the company says it will, you'll be able to turn on your set and get a home page from Google TV. You'll surf the Web and load applications onto the TV the way you do on a smart phone.

Just as with Android for mobile phones, Google makes Google TV code available to anyone who wants to build applications to run on it. With any luck, this will start a wave of innovation like the one that has hit the mobile-phone space, where hundreds of thousands of applications have been created in just the past few years. As Google says, "The coolest thing about Google TV is that we don't even know what the coolest thing about it will be".

Google gives the software away at no cost to any TV maker, and those companies can modify the code. What does Google get for developing this technology? Google says the idea is simply to get more people using Google's online services, where they will be exposed to Google's advertising. "People spend five hours a day watching TV, and we have no way to distribute our services to those users," Chandra says. "We want to have access to people wherever they are".

Adapted from Newsweek October 18, 2010

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