×

CES: All eyes on Google at CES this year

With Microsoft out of spotlight, Google's integrated technology will shine

Without Microsoft presenting its keynote or hosting a booth at CES for the first time in 14 years, the door is left wide open for another major consumer electronics player to cast a large shadow over the confab in Las Vegas this week.

Expect all eyes to be on Google.

Google has long sent staffers to CES, but they’ve never been there to wave the company flag. It doesn’t bring executives out to give keynote speeches. And it forgoes renting booth space (opting instead for just a meeting room). But with its shotgun approach of integrating its products into everything from smartphones to TV sets from a long list of manufacturers, Google will be integrated into many of the devices that will have people buzzing at CES and the rest of the year.

“I think Google is going to make quite a splash at this year’s show, even if it doesn’t make a formal appearance there,” says strategic innovation consultant Scott Steinberg. “It has extended its tentacles into everything. It’s the belle of the ball.”

The thinking goes like this: As people become more loyal to Android on their phones and tablets, they’re more willing to consider an Android-enhanced TV due to the interoperability. That helps manufacturers like Samsung. At the same time, Google sees its ad revenues spike as people use its devices for all parts of their day-to-day lives.

This year, Android 4.1 and 4.2 are expected to be the most popular operating systems on smartphones, which will also see more processing power (thanks to nVidia’s expected upgrade to the Tegra chipset).

Google TV, which hasn’t been the hit many were expecting, will seek to generate attention. LG has announced two new TV models (in varying sizes) that will come equipped with the service this year. All will ship with LG’s Magic Remote, which lets users search for content using Google TV’s voice search capabilities.

The Android operating system is also showing up in unusual places. Polaroid plans to unveil an Android-powered, interchangeable-lens camera at this year’s show.

The hitch here is that Google itself won’t be the company people are talking about. After stealing thunder from (and starting to compete against) many of its partners with the introduction of the Nexus phone last year, the company is more likely to remain a background player, albeit a significant one.

“They’re clearly going to have a presence, but they’re not going to be the front line name you hear,” says P.J. McNealy, an analyst with Digital World Research. “You’re going to hear more about Samsung, Panasonic, LG and so forth.”

Microsoft will still have a presence at CES. It will be hard for CES’ more than 140,000 attendees to walk too far on the Las Vegas Convention Center floor without seeing a new PC or tablet running Windows 8.

The decision to stay out of the CES spotlight isn’t expected to have any negative impact. January has never synced with the company’s release slate, and it’s been years since Microsoft has made any truly big announcements at its press conference.

Instead, expect the company to organize stand-alone press events for its big launches and announcements – or use other tradeshows as launching pads.

Company also is putting more emphasis on its retail outlets to promote its products like its Surface tablet. Microsoft plans to open at least six new stores this year, after opening 51 locations in 2012.

More Digital

  • Apple Plans to Fund Podcast Exclusives:

    Apple Reportedly Plans to Fund Original Podcasts

    Apple has plans to open its checkbooks for podcasts that would be exclusive to its podcasting apps, Bloomberg reported Tuesday. The investments would help the company defend its market leadership in an increasingly crowded field, and fend off competitors like Spotify, Pandora and Luminary. News of the plans sent Spotify’s stock down more than 3%; [...]

  • LiveXLive Names AOL and MTV Vet

    LiveXLive Names AOL and MTV Vet Dermot McCormack President

    Live entertainment digital media company LiveXLive Media today announced that AOL and MTV veteran Dermot McCormack has been named president of the company. According to the announcement, McCormack will lead the business and creative operations of LiveXLive, effective immediately. McCormack previously served as AOL’s Global President of Video and Studios, where he oversaw the video [...]

  • Recording Studio

    Cloud-Based Music Mastering Platform Landr Raises $26 Million

    Cloud-based music mastering and distribution platform Landr has raised a $26 million Series B round of funding. The new founding round was led by the Sony Innovation Fund, microphone manufacturer Shure, state-owned financing corporation Investissement Québec and Fonds de solidarité FTQ. Warner Music, Plus Eight Equity Partners, Slaight Communications, YUL Ventures and PEAK Capital Partners [...]

  • NBC News - Quibi

    NBC News to Produce Two Daily Shows for Jeffrey Katzenberg’s Quibi

    NBC News has joined Quibi’s ambitious bid to build a mobile subscription TV service. NBCUniversal’s news division plans to build a custom set at 30 Rock where it will produce daily morning and evening newscasts, seven days per week, for Quibi, the well-funded mobile video startup from chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg and CEO Meg Whitman. The [...]

  • patreon logo

    Patreon Raises $60 Million in New Funding

    Membership services startup Patreon just got a major cash infusion: The company announced Tuesday that it has raised a $60 million Series D round of funding led by Glade Brook Capital. Existing investors Thrive Capital, Initialized, Index Ventures, DFJ, Freestyle Capital, Charles River Ventures and Otherwise participated in the funding round as well, which brings [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content