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paidContent - Google's Android Is Moving Into The Digital Home

This story was written by Joseph Tartakoff.


By the end of the year, it looks like Google’s Android operating system will have moved beyond the smartphone. MIPS Technologies, a company which designs processors for various home entertainment devices, says it is working with partners to design Android-based platforms for set-top boxes, digital TVs, mobile internet devices, and home media players. The company expects Android-powered digital picture frames to come to market later this year, followed by digital TVs and set-top boxes in 2010. (See this ComputerWorld article for a technical discussion).

In defending its plans for both Android and the new Chrome OS, Google (NSDQ: GOOG) has said that while Chrome OS is optimized for the web, Android is device “agnostic,” possible to run on a myriad of products, including even refrigerators. However, Android has so far only been available on a handful of phones.

Android was set to move beyond the mobile phone to the netbook but those plans have been put in limbo since the announcement of Chrome OS, since many of the same PC makers who were going to put Android on their computers have since said they are working with Google on Chrome OS.

In an interview with the NYT, MIPS VP Art Swift says, “Once people saw how straightforward it was to move from a handset to a netbook, then it began to be an aha moment: ‘What if I migrate this to a DTV or set-top box?’”

As the NYT notes, the current market is fragmented, with no standard software used in home entertainment devices. Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT), however, does offer Windows CE for specialized devices.

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By Joseph Tartakoff
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