This week the majority of Google news focused on two things. The good: Google TV is finally (kinda) here. The bad: the Internet giant is being sued. Still.
Google set the blogosphere on fire when they first mentioned their aim for television sets at this year's Google I/O conference. Most of the deets since then have been sketchy, but the bigger picture came into focus this week after Big G named some of the companies they've partnered with thus far:
- Turner Broadcasting: Content from TBS, TNT, CNN, Cartoon Network and Adult Swim is being optimized for anytime viewing on Google TV.
- NBC Universal: Google TV and NBC Universal are working together to deliver CNBC Real-Time, an application that allows users to track their favorite stocks and access news feeds while viewing financial news from CNBC directly on the TV screen.
- HBO: Google says authenticated subscribers will be able to access all of their favorite HBO content on-demand in an enhanced website for Google TV.
- NBA: Game Time, an application that lets you follow game scores in real-time and catch up on the latest highlights from your favorite team, will be provided by NBA in HD.
Google's also been working with a handful of content providers (Amazon Video On Demand, Netflix will) as well as technology and media companies like The New York Times and USA Today.
Watch, the future is exciting:
"This is just the beginning," wrote Ambarish Kenghe, Developer Product Manager, Google TV. "Over the next few weeks, you can expect to hear from more sites that are enhancing their web content for the television."
On the flip side, those like Advertising Age's James McQuivey are dreading the release. "I am forced to report that there is still no evidence that Google understands just how disruptive Google TV could be to the $70 billion TV advertising business," he wrote. "Think about it -- by riding on top of your cable or satellite system's user interface, Google TV can supplant the program guide. That means any time you search for something on TV, Google can insert search ads next to your results. Those ads could become very lucrative if major advertisers realize they can now unofficially sponsor a TV show that people are searching for."
Google TV is launching this month, and you can get more info by tracking information from Sony on its Internet TV and Blu-Ray player, and Logitech on its companion box. Or, hit up Google's official TV site here.
Google Strikes Back
In case you missed it, Oracle sued Google back in August for patent and copyright infringement. Google finally shot back a response this week in the form of an extremely long counterclaim.
"Count VIII does not identify any specific infringing work that is the subject of the alleged copyright infringement claim, does not identify with any specificity the manner in which Google allegedly infringed any copyrights of plaintiff [Oracle], and does not identify with any specificity the basis for any claim of vicarious infringement, inducement of infringement, or contributory infringement," read the counterclaim.
Oh, and get this: In addition to denying all claims of infringement, Big G is requesting that Oracle pay the company's legal costs for the case. If that isn't a virtual middle finger for you, then we don't know what is.