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 Post subject: IT News: Google moves into video - and goes mobile
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 6:27 pm 
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Google is set to open an online video shop similar to Apple’s successful iTunes music store, with the launch of a service that will allow internet users to search for and buy video content through its site.


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While less dramatic than rumours that Google was to enter the personal computer market, which it denied earlier this week, the move would mark the company’s first step into a paid-for service that could provide revenues alongside its hugely successful advertising business.

The company is understood already to have signed up content partners, including CBS, the American broadcaster, and the American National Basketball Association.

The service will allow users to find films, programmes and sports clips through Google’s market-leading search engine technology. Customers will then pay for the content and download it to their computers.

Competition in the immature online video market is already shaping up to be fierce.

At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which has kept the technology industry transfixed this week, Microsoft yesterday announced a tie-up with Sky, the British satellite broadcaster that is 37.6 per cent owned by News Corporation, the parent company of Times Online. The deal will make Sky content available through Microsoft’s Windows software.

Yahoo!, the world’s most popular website, meanwhile, has even commissioned video content exclusively for the web.

Google, like its Yahoo!, already offers a video search service using an archive it has built up of TV programmes, educational videos and personal productions. However, his will be the first time that Google users can pay for premium content.

It was also announced that Motorola will sell web-enabled mobile phones that feature easy access to Google’s search engine.

The world’s second-largest maker of cell phones said it would integrate a Google icon onto certain internet-optimised handsets that will be distributed starting in the first quarter this year. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Motorola is also working with Yahoo to bring Yahoo Go Mobile, a mobile version of Yahoo’s search and content, to its handheld devices.

A Motorola spokesman said: "many of our customers have been asking for mobile devices integrated with their consumers’ favourite online search services.

"Our relationship with Google provides an opportunity for us to offer a high quality mobile search experience"

In a separate statement, Motorola said it also reached a 10-year global product, licensing and marketing agreement with Eastman Kodak to improve camera phones.

The companies will jointly develop devices with Kodak sensors that will integrate with Kodak printers, kiosks and other services.

Motorola said Kodak will receive royalty revenue from the agreement, but financial and other details were not disclosed.

Also in Las Vegas, Intel, the world’s largest maker of computer chips, launched its Viiv entertainment PC platform and announced a string of deals with entertainment and other tech companies to provide content for the new systems.

Viiv PC owners will be able to watch the video content stored in Google’s video service, high-definition highlights from NBC’s coverage of the Winter Olympics and classic TV shows from America Online. In all, Intel has signed dozens of content deals.

Viiv computers, which will be quieter than current PCs, will replace the array of standalone boxes that surround televisions in today’s cutting edge living rooms.


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