* Google TV to launch in US this autumn, worldwide in 2011
* CEO says new Chrome OS to run tablet computers
* Tablet partnerships to be announced later this year
(Adds more CEO comment, details, background)
By Nicola Leske
BERLIN, Sept 7 Google Inc (GOOG.O) will launch
its service to bring the Web to TV screens in the United States
this autumn and worldwide next year, its chief executive said,
as it extends its reach from the desktop to the living room.
CEO Eric Schmidt said the service, which will allow full
Internet browsing via the television, would be free, and Google
would work with a variety of programme makers and electronics
manufacturers to bring it to consumers.
"We will work with content providers, but it is very
unlikely that we will get into actual content production,"
Schmidt told journalists after a keynote speech to the IFA
consumer electronics trade fair in Berlin.
Sony (6758.T) said last week it had agreed to have Google TV
on its television sets, and Samsung (005930.KS) has said it was
looking into using the service.
The announcement comes less than a week after rival Apple
(AAPL.O) unveiled its latest Apple TV product and will intensify
a battle for consumers' attention and potentially for the $180
billion global TV advertising market. [ID:nN01168897]
Schmidt also said Google would announce partnerships later
this year with makers of tablet computers that would use
Google's Chrome operating system, due to be launched soon,
rather than its Android phone software, which has been used for
mobile devices until now.
The Mountain View, California-based company plans to make
Chrome, which competes with Microsoft's (MSFT.O) Internet
Explorer and Mozilla's Firefox, the centre of an operating
system that would offer an alternative to Microsoft Windows.
The world's No.1 search engine is hunting for new revenue
opportunities as growth in its core Internet business slows and
as new technologies such as smartphones and social networking
services transform the way consumers access the Web.
Schmidt declined to comment on Google's plans for a social
network of its own, and while he said there were plans to expand
in music, he would not elaborate.
Reuters reported last week that Google was in talks with
music labels for a music download store and a digital song
Asked about criticism over Google's Street View in Germany,
Schmidt said he had anticipated it and that he had talks with
some members of the German government during his stay in Berlin.
"What's unusual is that we've given you (the Germans) the
possibility to opt out before (the launch); we have never done
that anywhere else."
Google's Street View cars are well known for crisscrossing
the globe and taking panoramic pictures of the city streets,
which the company displays in its online Maps product.
Critics say the tool invites abuse. They argue thieves can
search for targets, security firms could use the data for sales
pitches, job seekers might find their homes scrutinised by
employers, and banks could inspect the homes of loan applicants.
Google ran into trouble in Germany in May after authorities
found out that Street View vehicles were collecting private data
sent over unencrypted WiFi networks.
"I was very angry about that," Schmidt said, adding that
once it was discovered, Google put an end to it.
(Editing by Hans Peters and Will Waterman)