Google Set to Launch Google TV This Fall

Google CEO Eric Schmidt announced Tuesday that his company was ready to launch Google TV this Fall in the U.S., and throughout the rest of the world during 2011. Mr. Schmidt made the announcement during his keynote speech at the IFA consumer electronics trade show in Berlin Tuesday, and is seemingly in response to Apple’s unveiling of its newest Apple TV model last week.

Google TV will be offered through partner hardware markets who will add the service to their own TV sets. Reuters reported that Sony has already committed to offering the service, and that Samsung is investigating it, as well.

Google TV will offer users access to Google’s online services such as its search and apps businesses from their TV, as well as the ability to browse the broader Web. The company announced its plans for such a service earlier in 2010, but today’s announcement is the first firm target time frame for a launch.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs said last week that his company believes consumers don’t want a computer for a TV, and is offering specific services such as TV show rentals, access to YouTube, Netflix, and the ability to play music and video content from computers hosted on the same network.

Google TV, in contrast, is an effort to bring a core concept of desktop computing — Web browsing — to the TV without bringing a standalone computer. By offering it to TV set manufacturers, Google has the opportunity to be on millions of sets by default, and it simply remains to be seen if consumers embrace the notion.