Internet giant Google announced the launch of the new service, Google Media Server, which connects PCs to TVs.
Google Media Server is a Windows application that finds photos, music and video files and makes them available such devices as PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and many PCs. The server uses Google Desktop technology and Google Desktop Search to locate multimedia files.
In releasing the software, Google moves closer to an area of the home entertainment market coveted by Microsoft and Apple. Both companies have software within their respective operating systems for connecting a Windows Vista PC and Mac, respectively, to a TV.
Google has developed several desktop applications, including Google Earth, an interactive mapping program powered by satellite and aerial imagery that covers the vast majority of the planet. Google Earth is generally considered to be remarkably accurate and extremely detailed. Many major cities have such detailed images that one can zoom in close enough to see vehicles and pedestrians clearly. Consequently, there have been some concerns about national security implications. Specifically, some countries and militaries contend the software can be used to pinpoint with near-precision accuracy the physical location of critical infrastructure, commercial and residential buildings, bases, government agencies, and so on. However, the satellite images are not necessarily frequently updated, and all of them are available at no charge through other products and even government sources. For example, NASA and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Some counter this argument by stating that Google Earth makes it easier to access and research the images.
Many other products are available through Google Labs, which is a collection of incomplete applications that are still being tested for use by the general public.
Google has promoted their products in various ways. In London , Google Space was set-up in Heathrow Airport , showcasing several products, including Gmail, Google Earth and Picasa. Also, a similar page was launched for American college students, under the name College Life, Powered by Google.
In 2007, some reports surfaced that Google was planning the release of its own mobile phone, possibly a competitor to Apple's iPhone. The project, called Android provides a standard development kit that will allow any "Android" phone to run software developed for the Android SDK, no matter the phone manufacturer. In October 2007, Google SMS service was launched in India allowing users to get business listings, movie showtimes, and information by sending an SMS.