Dec. 27, 2010 at 1:14 PM ET
UPDATED: 11:30 am PT Logitech is apparently unhappy enough with the Google TV software on its Revue set-top box that it has suspended shipments of the system, according to the Taiwanese tech biz gossip rag DigiTimes.
When the Revue came out in October — along with Sony's Internet TV products, also powered by Google TV — we said flat out that the software was only half baked. Most other reviewers agreed, and Google TV made many "worst of 2010" lists. Google allegedly asked new hardware partners to hold off on releasing new Google TV products, so it makes sense that Logitech puts on the brakes, too, given a lack of confidence in the product coming from within Google itself.
So what's so bad about Google TV? There are two main issues, one that Google can solve in house, one that will require diplomacy. First, Google needs to fix the user interface, so that there is a clearer distinction between using "apps" and browsing the Web. Next, they need to smooth out their relationships with TV and movie content owners so that Google TV can actually play the "free" ad-supported content out on the Web. (It is currently blocked from doing so.) Moving forward, Google needs to encourage the development of unique Google TV apps, and integrate those apps into its video search feature.
If you want more details, read my review, but it should suffice to say that the platform is plenty flawed. We applaud Logitech for putting its foot down — better late than never. The only remaining mystery is why Samsung would unveil its Google TV product at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week, given all of the controversy. Let's hope that is one rumor that will be put to rest, at least until Google TV gets better.
Update: We just received the following statement from Nancy Morrison, VP of corporate communications at Logitech:
Contrary to recent speculation, Logitech has not been asked by Google to suspend production of its Google TV products.
Suggestions that production of the Logitech Revue companion box might need to be halted to address software issues are unfounded. As those familiar with the product know, it is not necessary for Logitech to make changes to the companion box to accommodate future enhancements to Google TV. Every Logitech Revue will receive free over-the-air updates whenever Google and Logitech release software enhancements.
Logitech is currently meeting the inventory needs of its retail customers, continuing to ship products on schedule to meet their holiday and post-holiday demand.
Logitech does not discuss the specific production plans for any of its products. As a high-volume manufacturer of electronic products, Logitech’s use of its own factories as well as those of its manufacturing partners, provides the company with flexibility in how and when it produces products to accommodate customer demand.
The point is a fair one, that the box can be updated anywhere so why halt production? Still, you will note from the statement, Logitech won't address the specific matter of whether or not it is dialing down or even halting additional production due to the public response to (and perhaps diminishing demand of) Google's flawed software platform.