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June 27, 2005

Google Unveils Video Viewer



Courtesy of TechWeb News

Google Inc. on Monday launched a video viewer for watching and searching video stored in the company's servers.

Separately, the company's stock topped $300 for the first time on Monday, closing on the Nasdaq Stock Market at $304.10, an increase of $6.85, or 2.3 percent.

The Google Video Viewer follows by about five months the company's launch of a video-search service that focused primarily on the closed captioning content of television programs to return still photos and a text excerpt at the point where the search phrase was spoken. The service does not show video clips.

About two months ago, however, the Mountain View, Calif., company launched a "video uploader," a tool for people to store video on Google servers. The latest tool, called the Google Video Viewer, makes it possible to watch the uploaded video through either the Mozilla Foundation's Firefox or Microsoft Corp.'s Internet Explorer web browsers.

The new tool is designed not to interfere with video plug-ins people may already be using, such as the Windows Media Player, RealNetworks's RealPlayer or Apple Computer's QuickTime, Matthew Vosburgh, video software engineer for Google, said in a posting on the company's website.

The viewer includes a search tool for getting results that point to the spot in the video that matches the query, Vosburgh said. The viewer is only available for Windows computers, but a Mac version is planned.

In general, Google's video search capabilities do not match those of other services currently available on the web, experts say. Examples of TV video search services include Blinkx.tv, SpeechBot from Hewlett-Packard Co., which uses speech-recognition in its search; and ShadowTV Inc., which offers a paid business service.

Nevertheless, Google and rivals Yahoo Inc. and Microsoft Corp.'s MSN are heavily focused on video, as multimedia content becomes more attractive to the growing number of consumes switching from narrowband to broadband Internet connections.

On its stock price, Google took less than a year since its initial public offering to surpass Time Warner, Disney and other well-known companies in valuation, according to the Wall Street Journal. At more than $300 a share, Google is valued at more than $80 billion.

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