Chesapeake Home Theatre & Hi-Fi

Larry Dent is the owner of Chesapeake Home Theatre & Hi-Fi.

These articles were written for the Islander Weekly.

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Larry's Tech Talk

It’s a Family Room Invasion!

The big news in the tech world last week came from software giant, Google. The announcement was that an agreement to acquire Motorola Mobility had been reached. I think I heard $12B to be the price tag. So, how might that affect us and what is a Google anyway?

Most of us know Google as the software giant online search engine. But Google does a lot more than just provide the world’s most popular search engine. They offer Google Apps, Google Ads, Google Maps, Google Earth, GMail, Google Docs, Google Calandar, and Google Chrome to name a few. Google also owns YouTube. Yeah Larry, most of us already know that. Tell us why a software company would want to buy a hardware company? OK dude, ever hear of the Droid operating system?

Probably known as the only serious competitor to the iPhone, Android PDAs (PDA is a cell phone on steroids) run Google’s “Droid” software operating system. Business partners like Dell, Acer, Samsung and Motorola have provided the hardware in the past. When the acquisition is completed, Google will be able to control both the hardware and software for its cell phone PDA products. Just like Apple does now. I wonder what Michael Dell, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are thinking? The tech world’s corporate lawyer’s heads must be spinning! Corporate acquisitions mean patent rights, and that can be huge in the world of high technology. Google is basically purchasing 17,000 patents by acquiring Motorola Mobility.

Yeah, but what’s a Google anyway? Google is a fairly new company, founded in 1998 and growing very fast to become the $30 billion company that it is today. Shortly after Google took the online search engine business by storm, Microsoft founder Bill Gates admitted that he completely underestimated how large that market segment could become. Microsoft’s Bing search engine doesn’t even begin to compete with Google.

So, is that it? A software giant will be able to make its own cell phones? Well, not really. There’s a bigger piece to this Motorola puzzle. If you live in Queen Anne’s County and subscribe to cable TV service, there is a Motorola set top box in your home right now. Motorola is the largest manufacturer of cable TV set top boxes. It supplies the two largest cable TV providers in the country, Comcast and Time Warner. By purchasing Motorola, Google is instantly in your Family Room.

If you read this column a few weeks ago, I wrote that Apple plans to offer an internet Video service to compete with Cable and Satellite TV sometime in the next 12 months.. Apple’s strategy to enter your home will be via its own internet flat panel TV. And now it looks like Google might be positioning itself for a shot at our entertainment dollar.
Google already knows what you search for. Could they use that information to determine what commercials you will see on TV?

How will all of this shake out? Your guess is as good as mine, but it sure seems like there are there are some big players trying to invade our Family Rooms.