Last month, I
highlighted the fact that Google cofounder Larry Page was doing a keynote at
this week’s Consumer Electronics Show. Consumer electronics? What consumer
electronics does Google have? How about a "Google Cube" personal computer,
running Google’s own operating system, that you can pick up at your local
Wal-Mart? Via Threadwatch,
that’s what the LA Times is reporting in
Industry Feeling Presence of the 800-Pound Google.
According to unnamed sources, Google has been negotiating with Wal-Mart and
other retailers to carry a low-cost, Windows-free computer. The "Google Cubes"
name? That comes from a separate Bear Stearns report that the paper cites, where
the analyst firm said Google would roll out not a computer but rather a hardware
device for moving media between computers and TVs. Further speculation by
unnamed analysts is that whatever Google Cubes or cube-like devices are, Page
will reveal all at CES.
I suspect that the Bear Stearns report is really coming off of
The Google Box
from Robert X. Cringely at PBS, from late November. In that column, he describes
"Google Cubes" as a hardware device the company was thinking of giving
consumers, to work as an interface between all types of electronic devices in a
home. One chief reason he saw as distributing these cheaply was to help
consumers get going with various broadband-enabled services, such as video on
demand or voice-over-IP.
Speculation that Google is planning its own operating system or browser has
been going on for ages. If you are a Search Engine Watch
Google: Browser and
Google: Operating System categories have past stories on these topics.
Google CEO: The Next Killer Device Is A GooglePod from over a year ago,
where Google CEO Eric Schmidt talked about wanting an iPod-like device with all
the world’s information on it — or at least a wireless connection to something
that has all that information (perhaps Google itself?).