Mission Impossible: ‘Yahoo! Go TV’

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Las Vegas – Yahoo! Inc. (www.yahoo.com) Friday introduced a new service called "Yahoo! Go TV,'' designed to bring a wide variety of search and other Web services to the living room television set.

But it could not demonstrate how it works at the 2006 International Consumer Electronics Show here.

The new service, which runs on Microsoft Corp.’s “Windows XP” computer operating system, is designed to allow TV viewers to perform a search of video content on the Web and then watch the results immediately, according to Yahoo! president Dan Rosensweig.

Users could also use the Yahoo! service to display photo slide shows on a TV, play music and pull up shows from a digital-video recorder.

"This is not pie in the sky,'' he said during a CES keynote address. It turned out, instead, to be pie in the face.

The Yahoo! Go TV service did not function at Yahoo!'s on-stage demonstration, in a specially designed faux living-room set, replete with couches and chairs in trademark Yahoo! purple.

Rosensweig called it an "unplanned moment,' and Yahoo! CEO Terry Semel quickly switched attention to the next stage of Yahoo's presentation to hundreds of show attendees at the Las Vegas Hilton Theatre -- bounding on stage: Tom Cruise, star of the third Mission Impossible movie, which will debut May 5. "I'm here for you, Terry,'' Cruise said.

Semel responded by showing a clip -- thrown on screen by a conventional projection system -- of Mission Impossible III twice. "I guess if you're going to have a demo glitch, it helps if you follow it up with Tom Cruise,'' he said.

Does this mean making "Yahoo! Go TV" work "seamlessly,'' as Rosensweig promised, is not an impossible mission for the Web giant? Yahoo! claims a worldwide audience of 400 million Internet users.

"I can't promise anything after today,'' Rosensweig quipped.

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