Android Invasion? Google Teams With Intel, Sony for 'Google TV'

Google has already become a dominant force on the Web. Now the search engine behemoth is moving into television.

According to a report in The New York Times, Google is teaming up with two other technology giants, Intel and Sony, to develop a new platform -- appropriately named Google TV -- that will include televisions and set-top boxes that provide a full Web experience.

Google has not commented publicly on the report. The New York Times cites unnamed sources who claim the three companies, along with Logitech, which will provide peripheral devices, aim to offer users a better way to surf the Internet from their living room via Google's Android operating system. According to the report, the proposed Internet TVs and set-top boxes will use Intel's Atom processors, which have traditionally been used in netbooks.

The New York Times also cites evidence of Intel and Logitech advertising for Android-related developer positions; for example, Intel is listing jobs for experienced Android programmers to help bring Intel technology "from PC screen to mobile screen and TV screen."

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Sony, which will provide the actual TVs and set-top boxes, has the most experience in providing Internet beyond the PC, thanks to the PlayStation 3, which comes with Web browser functionality as well as features like Netflix Instant Viewing and Facebook. Meanwhile, during the Intel keynote at CES 2010, Intel CEO Paul Otellini spoke at length about extending computing beyond the PC and into other areas such as TVs and the living room. Otellini also introduced the AppUp Store for Atom-based applications, which could be pivotal in providing content for Google TV.

Many other technology companies are currently pushing Web-ready TVs or set-top boxes. Startups like Roku, which makes hardware specifically for Netflix Instant Viewing, have entered the field, while giants like Apple and Microsoft have long had aspirations of extending their reach from computers to television.

If Google TV is indeed launched in the near future, possibly during the Google I/O event in May, it will create yet another battlefield for Google and budding rival Apple, which already entered the Internet TV market in 2007 with Apple TV and has achieved moderate success. The Apple TV device also uses Intel processors, though not the Atom chip.