Las Vegas a-buzz over Google keynote

Rumours are buzzing about what Google is planning to announce in its first keynote address at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show today. The Wall Street Journal is reported that the search engine is planning an extension to its Google Video product which will offer downloadable videos, movies and TV programmes for sale through its content partners. Among the names linked with the announcement are CBS and the National Basketball Association.

There is also speculation that Google founder Larry Page will announce that the search engine plans to offer a set of applications called the ‘Google Pack’ which people can download onto their machines. Included in the ‘Pack’ is said to be a version of the open source browser ‘Firefox’ and software from Symantec and Real Networks – all of which are, or soon to be, head-to-head competitors with Microsoft in their chosen fields. One can also assume that any Google Pack will also include the company’s own products such as Google Talk and Desktop.

There have also been rumours that the search engine is planning to launch its own low cost PC dubbed the ‘Google Box’. However, these reports have been flatly denied by Google.

Whatever the announcement turns out to be, Bill Gates for one seems irritated by the focus on the Google announcement which partially overshadowed his own keynote address previewing important Microsoft products like Windows Vista and Media Player 11. Speaking to Associated Press, Gates remarked, ‘I hear they’re coming out with a robot that will cook hamburgers, too. Let’s spread that rumour – there’s nothing they can’t do.’

Gates has also denied that Google is his biggest competitor. Speaking to Reuters Gates said ‘People tend to get over-focused on one of our competitors. We’ve always seen that. IBM has always been our biggest competitor. The press just don’t like to write about IBM.’

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