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Friday, January 06, 2006

Google@CES : Google Video Store & Google Pack Announced

The speculations are proving to be correct.Google announced the opening of the Google Video Store.It claims this to be the first open video marketplace enabling consumers to buy and rent a wide range of video content from a major television network, a professional sports league, cable programmers, independent producers and film makers.This fast growing collection of videos will include prime-time and classic hits from CBS, a full slate of NBA games from this season and outstanding performances from the past, music videos from SONY BMG, Charlie Rose interviews as well as news and historical content from ITN and new titles being added everyday. Google video will let viewers watch lots of high quality video on the web for the first time with facilities for search and browse, and video producers and anyone with a video camera can use Google Video as a platform to publish to the entire Google audience in a fast, free and seamless way. Additionally, content from Google Video can be viewed with a new player that can be downloaded for free from any playback page. It offers all the traditional playback options (play, pause, stop..) as well as a "thumbnail" navigation feature that enables users to browse through an entire video, or frames at a time, with a simple click of their mouse. iPod and Sony Playstation Portable users will also be able to download and watch any non-copy-protected content from Google Video, and even get it specially optimized for playback on their devices.
Google also released a Google Pack,a free bundle of software from Google and other software makers.Google Pack includes previously available applications such as the open source Firefox Web browser, a version of Norton Anti-Virus software from Symantec Corp. and Adobe Systems Inc.'s Reader software. Google said the bundle of programs, which can be downloaded online, was designed to simplify the installation of basic applications for computers running the Windows XP operating system. Google through this is trying to make the computers easier to use – attributing the impetus for Google Pack to the frustration of Google's two co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, with installing basic software on new personal computers they purchased. It won’t be lost that Marissa Mayer said her recent personal experience with a new Apple laptop computer was that it was fast and painless to get up-and-running and that Google Pack is aimed at making the same experience easier on PCs.Google is targeting utility software first, in a move that complements its plans for its Googleplex, a server-based interconnected massive network. As noted here,today, all kinds of computing experiences can be delivered as services over the Internet, often free and supported by advertising. Clever Internet software can now turn flat, view-and-read web pages into snappy services that look and respond to a user's keystrokes much like the big software applications that reside on a PC hard drive.
In all several good reasons why these are significant:
1. Google is helping usage of internet infrastructure much better
2. Digital content – the most underleveraged gets an impetus
3. Search technology involving videos can only get better with Google’s muscle behind it
4. Google Pack wants to provide Apple laptop usage like experience to PC users
I would have loved to see Google make annoucements/services related to Mobiles & Low Cost PC's - If only Google can say things like free OS and desktop apps for Low cost PC's the stage woud have dramatically looked far better.

Update : Read John Battelle's excellent perspective on these annoucements. Particularly noteworthy is the price sharing mechanisms between content providers and google trying to find a new mechanism for ranking.

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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
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