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Rumor: Google's Tablet (or Platform) Called Google Play?

There's speculation that Google's self-branded 7-inch tablet will be called Google Play and not don the "Nexus" branding after all. The name stems from a long list of domains that were registered on February 29 through brand protection company MarkMonitor.

So far Google hasn't been officially named as the buyer of the domains, and the mystery registrant remains hidden behind the Whois privacy veil. But Google reportedly uses MarkMonitor regularly to acquire domain names, and has even registered the Google.com (Whois) domain with the firm.

The full list of names supposedly acquired by Google include:

appsonplay.com
booksonplay.com
gamesonplay.com
googleplayapps.com
googleplaybooks.com
googleplaydownloads.com
googleplaygames.com
googleplaymagazines.com
googleplaymovies.com
googleplaymusic.com
googleplaynewspapers.com
googleplaynewsstand.com
googleplaytv.com
googleplayvideos.com
magazinesonplay.com
moviesonplay.com
newspapersonplay.com
tvonplay.com

What's not list above is googleplay.com which the company currently does not own. But the domains seemingly detail what a Google tablet would offer including magazines, newspapers, television, movies, games and more.... most of which Android Market already provides.

According to previous reports, Google's tablet will sport a 7-inch 1280 x 800 display and Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich." Google chairman Eric Schmidt even indicated that the device would be a "premium" model, but there's a good chance the company is going after Amazon and its smoking hot Kindle Fire. Production of the tablet is expected to begin in April.

It's possible the Google Play branding describes an overall entertainment service tied to upcoming hardware, and not just one specific device. To calm the nerves of music executives, Google has reportedly told them it fully intends to push Google Music when the hardware strategy is executed -- presumably the wireless entertainment center, tablet and other gadgets. Google Play could merely be an overall "network" branding like Sony Entertainment Network and Xbox Live.

For now, everything is speculation.