Yahoo!’s fourth screen is Google’s radar

Earlier this week, Yahoo! acquired most of the assets of Meedio, one of a handful of Windows Media Center-like software products that had its roots in open-source. The other major Windows-based products are from SageTV and Media Center predecessor SnapStream, with Linux offerings MythTV and Freevo still options for the open source crowd. Whereas Medio had become a commercial product, Yahoo! will give away its rebranded version Yahoo Go!.

Following last year's acquisition of Konfabulator technology — now called Yahoo! Widgets, Yahoo! now has platforms in place for each of the major "three screens" of TV, PC and mobile phone. However, even though Yahoo!'s acquisition strategy has created a predictably disjointed family of products, the diversity of the products demonstrates the tremendous differences in context that media companies will face developing a three-screen strategy.

In these times when Google has been aggressively adding many sites that rival Yahoo!'s, Meedio's acquisition provides fresh fuel for the old rumor that Google would acquire TiVo. Unlike Meedio, which is still simply Windows software, TiVo has actual eyeballs in front of the glass it commands, and Google could afford the kind of generosity that would eliminate its odious monthly fee, boosting TiVo's popularity. EPIC may not be far away.

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