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Google fuels battle with Apple with new product launches

Alex Christie

26 May 2010

Google has always been known for acquiring small start ups and integrating them into the bigger Google picture and further extending the giant reach that the company already enjoys.

Google has, for a while, been a lot more than a search engine. It has become a company known for being multi-dimensional and has moved into broad areas trying to capitalise on the talent and resources at its disposal.

Recently Google has been locking horns with Apple in various law suits, and that rivalry is set to reach new heights as Google hits Apple right where it hurts. You are probably thinking that Google already has a partnership with HTC to bring its Android operating system to the mobile Smartphone market. Add that to the fact that they are already challenge Apple in probably their most successful bracket namely the iPhone and it makes for some very interesting developments over the coming weeks.

That is correct yes, but now Google is launching an attack from the flank and aiming at an area where Apple has virtually no competition – iTunes.

On Thursday, Google launched Froyo or more commonly known as Android 2.2, but it kept very quiet about another major release coupled with Froyo. This update had to do with the Android market, and allows users to download an app through the Android Market on the web, that automatically starts downloading to all of your android devices – effectively making all of your android devices sync automatically. How does this compete with Apple and iTunes you might ask? Well, Google also quietly introduced a music section to the Android Market. Now couple those two features together, the increasing number of android handsets and all of a sudden we have a very capable iTunes competitor.

You might think that might only be limited to cell phones and therefore will limit the service right? But that is where you are mistaken. Google is also looking to introduce the android market place in their Operating system, and this is where the real competition to iTunes starts. This is not a reality yet, but the potential for success is clearly there.

An announcement also made last week, that gathered quite a bit more noise, was the release of Google TV. Rather unsurprisingly, this is also an area that Apple currently has a stake in with Apple TV.

This is actually quite big news as it would combine the prowess that Google has in the internet sphere and spread that reach into a new sector, namely television. Effectively Google would be opening new doorways to extend its revenue service and basically pull its internet expertise into the television realm.

Once again, Android will continue to grow as Google looks to include it, along with their web browser Chrome onto devices and “try and merge the internet and television”.

“As other technologies have evolved and changed, TV has remained the same. Video should be consumed on the biggest, best and brightest screen in the house and that is a TV,” said Rishi Chandra, the project leader.

Google is looking to pitch its new platform as a way to merge the power of the internet and the television, and therefore provide a much easier way to find programming or entertainment. Users will instead be able to make use of a search feature and find shows that they want that are available for viewing or purchasing.

The TV is set to become “a natural extension of the Web itself,” Chandra said.

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