Monday, February 2, 2009

Yahoo!'s Next Frontier: Internet TV

Douglas MacMillan's article, "Yahoo!'s Next Frontier: Internet TV" is about how Yahoo is teamed up with Intel to create television widgets to make multitasking simpler and bring Internet content to television screen. At the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show, Yahoo announced that they will be releasing a number of televisions and products with their new software this spring that would allow users to bring up their social networking site's widget or favorite news outlet's widget and check up on things all while watching television. The widget of course will not be the whole site, just "scaled down versions of popular Web pages and applications." The widget will be simple, easy to use, and not distracting so the user can still watch television.

With the huge success of Apple’s iPhone, it is clear that consumers today love to be able to have and do everything in one gadget. These Internet widgets will allow consumers to check up on mostly everything all while comfortably watching television. Consumers today also love to personalize everything they own, especially their toys or gadgets. A consumer using Yahoo’s Internet TV will be able to personalize it by picking and choosing the widgets and applications they wish to download. In store-bought TVs, there will be an array of preloaded widgets along with an online Widget Gallery where consumers can choose what they wish to download. For example, if one is an avid reader of The New York Times, they will be able to choose to have The New York Times widget as their news source as opposed to another news outlet.

By the end of this year, there will be about 20 different widgets available. Yahoo will create some of these widgets, while others will be “created by a range of outside developers, including such social media sites as Twitter and NewsCorp.’s MySpace and news outlets like The New York Times.” Any content creator will be allowed to develop a widget because Yahoo is giving everyone “an open invitation.”

The article discusses how many consumers today are on their laptops doing work or e-mailing while watching television. I find myself constantly multitasking, whether it is writing a paper, emailing, reading the news online, or going on Facebook for pleasure all while watching television. I think it is highly innovative of Yahoo to bring Internet content to TV. For example, it is very convenient for a user to simply press a button to activate a weather widget to see the current temperature all while watching Jeopardy. I think this is a good chance for Yahoo to redeem themself as a Web pioneer. It will be interesting to see how consumers will react to Yahoo’s new product in these struggling economic times. Hopefully by the end of the year things will be progressively turning around and consumers respond well to Yahoo’s Internet TV.

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