Google stepped up its campaign to become a major player in consumer electronics, topped by a $199 tablet computer that could pressure Amazon.com while adding yet another challenger to market leader Apple Inc., the WSJ reports. The company unveiled the tablet at a developer conference Wednesday alongside other hardware it designed for the first time—a $299 home-entertainment player called Nexus Q and futuristic eyewear dubbed Google Glass that embeds a computer display in a glasses-like device.
For Google, the transition to hardwar¥e has become necessary as Apple continues to encroach on the Internet-search giant's territory with major software applications. Earlier this month, for instance, Apple touted a number of new software products, including a mapping service that would replace Google Maps as the default system for Apple devices. Meanwhile, software titan Microsoft Corp. MSFT +0.50% last week added its own branded tablet to the fray, furthering the turf wars….