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CEO: Google TV Service to Debut this Autumn

You didn't think Google was going to leave the market for web TV services to Apple, did you? One week after Steve Jobs grabbed headlines with Apple TV, Google's CEO Eric Schmidt said the company intends to roll out its own web-based television service this autumn in the United States.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt talks about Google TV at the Google conference in San Francisco, Thursday, May 20, 2010. AP Photo/Paul Sakuma

Reuters quoted Schmidt saying the Google service would be free and work with a myriad of program makers and electronics manufacturers. However, Schmidt added that it was "very unlikely" that Google will do its own content production.

The announcement suggests yet another market where Apple and Google are likely to butt heads. Apple last week announced an upgrade to its own web-based television service. The company $99 TV set-top box will play movie and television show rentals downloaded from the Internet.

At one point, Schmidt sat on Apple's board of directors. But he resigned a a year ago last August. At the time, Jobs alluded to the growing competition between the companies in the smartphone business, noting that "unfortunately, as Google enters more of Apple's core businesses, with Android and now Chrome OS, Eric's effectiveness as an Apple Board member will be significantly diminished, since he will have to recuse himself from even larger portions of our meetings due to potential conflicts of interest."

Given the ongoing trend toward digital convergence, it was only a matter of time before Google put its own marker down in the web TV field. The company first began talking about its TV plans earlier this spring, and has portrayed itself as a more open platform than that offered by Apple's proprietary design.

The argument may be resonating. Last week Sony said it planned to work with Google TV (Google is working with Sony as well as Intel to create the service.) On Tuesday, the head of Samsung's television unit said the company was "reviewing" the possibility of integrating Android OS into its line of televisions.

Schmidt made his comments during the IFA tech conference which has been taking place this past week in Berlin.

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