Google TV Launch Reportedly Delayed

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Google (GOOG) TV is in trouble. The service is meant to be a merger of traditional television, search technology and personal computing. Viewers are supposed to put in the name of a program, get back search results on the program and related content and then watch shows via the Internet.

It seems like a complex set of features, but Google has gambled that people will prefer it to a jumble of set-top-like products wired to their TVs -- each with a different function.

The New York Timesreports that "Google has asked the TV makers to delay their introductions, according to people familiar with the company's plans, so that it can refine the software, which has received a lukewarm reception. The late request caught some of the manufacturers off guard." That means the debut will miss the massive Consumer Electronics Show -- the largest of its kind in the world -- in early January. Several large TV companies have already put the software into their sets.

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The Times reports that portions of the Google software are late. Google has a mixed record of hardware-software marriages. Its initial Nexus smartphone, which ran on its own Android mobile operating system, was a failure and quickly withdrawn from the market. Some experts blame Google's customer service for the phone's demise. However, Android itself has done very well and rapidly gained market share in other manufacturers' handsets.

Google may never have success with its TV initiative if it follows in the footsteps of another, earlier "wired home," which was created by Microsoft (MSFT) and Intel (INTC) nearly seven years ago. The two companies weren't able to get consumers to break their normal patterns of consumer electronics use. The joint venture was meant to make the PC the hub of home entertainment. Google, too, may soon discover that Americans' living room habits are hard to change.

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