19 Milestones On Google's 19th Birthday
Google is celebrating its 19th birthday with a “surprise” spinner Doodle that allows users to explore 19 games it has launched over the years – including a new version of the snake game. The reason Google loves to celebrate ’surprises’ is because its founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin believe that life is full of surprises.
It is no surprise then that the search engine came into being because of a chance encounter between Page and Brin.
In 1997, Larry Page, had just arrived at Stanford University to pursue his P.h.D in computer science. Of all the students on campus, Google’s other co-founder, Sergey Brin, was randomly assigned to show Page around.
From there, the two begin their mission to organize a seemingly infinite amount of information on the web giving birth to what we known as ‘Google’. Google.com was registered as a domain on September 15th 1997. The name, a play on the word “googol,” a mathematical term for the number represented by the numeral 1 followed by 100 zeros. Google since then has seen tremendous growth and expansion touching lives of millions of users around the world.
With over 70 offices in more than 40 global locations, including India, the Mountain View, California-company grew substantially in its size and reputation - its innovtion subsequently becomes a part of daily life including Android phones, Google Maps, Google Earth, as well as in business with its mail, mobile devices and analytics solutions.
Of its mutiple achievements, CXOtoday lists out 19 key milestones as a tribute to the Internet giant.
July 2000: Google becomes the world’s largest search engine and by the end of the year, it has 1 billion indexes. The Search engine now makes more than 13 billion searches a month.
July 2001: Images search is launched, where nearly 250 million images were indexed. In 2005, it hits a milestone with 1 billion images indexed. By 2010, the index reached 10 billion images. As of July 2010, the service receives over one billion views a day. The company keeps upgrading this area with newer concepts and tools.
February 2003: Google buys blogging platform Blogger, and it a pretty good deal for millions of people have their own voice on the web and organizing the world’s information from the personal perspective.
March 2004: Gmail was launched. Initially started as an invitation-only beta release, it became available to the general public on February 7, 2007. The service was upgraded from beta status since 2009, along with the rest of the Google Apps suite, with greater innovation efforts every year.
October 2004: Google launches Desktop Search and by reaches 8 billion indexes by the end of the year. the free downloadable application which enables users to search for information on their own computers, has added search over the full text of PDFs and the meta-information stored with music, image and video files.
June 2005: A landmark year for Google. The company launches Google maps, a satellite imagery-based mapping service combining 3D buildings and terrain with mapping capabilities and Google search. It also comes up with Google Earth, Talk and Video. The company also acquired Urchin, a web analytics company whose technology is used to create Google Analytics. Google Mobile Web Search is released, specially formulated for viewing search results on mobile phones.
July 2005: Android is bought by Google, a Linux-based operating system, designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers. A developer survey conducted in April–May 2013 found that Android is the most popular platform for developers, used by 71% of the mobile developer population. Android’s share of the global smartphone market, led by Samsung products, was 64% in March 2013. In July 2013 there were 11,868 different models of Android device, scores of screen sizes and eight OS versions simultaneously in use. As of May 2013, a total of 900 million Android devices have been activated and 48 billion apps have been installed from the Google Play store. As of 3 September 2013, there have been 1 billion Android devices activated
October 2006: Google buys video-sharing website YouTube for $1.65bn (£883m). YouTube, launched in February 2005, has grown quickly into one of the most popular websites on the internet. It has 100 million videos viewed every day and an estimated 72 million individual visitors each month.
September 2008: Search index reaches 1 trillion and the Chrome browser is unveiled. The company throws a shot at software giant Microsoft with the release of its very own web browser.
July 2009: Google launches its Chrome OS for netbooks. Google Chrome OS is a Linux-based operating system designed by Google to work primarily with web applications. The user interface takes a minimalist approach and consists almost entirely of just the Google Chrome web browser, since the operating system is aimed at users who spend most of their computer time on the Web, the only “native” applications on Chrome OS are a browser, media player and file manager
July 2010: The first Nexus smartphone handset - the Nexus One - is launched, which boasts a highly-developed touch screen and other enhancements. The phone is based on Google’s Android software, which it first launched two years ago as a way of moving sideways into the mobile market.
August 2011: Plans are announced for Google to buy Motorola Mobility. Within a year, Google completed its $12.5 billion acquisition of phone maker Motorola - and immediately appointed a senior Google exec as CEO. In a blog post Larry Page writes that Google has acquired Motorola not only because of its strength in Android smartphones and devices, but also for being a “market leader in the home devices and video solutions business.”
June 2012: Google Glass is unveiled. is a wearable computer with an optical head-mounted display (OHMD) that is being developed by Google in the Project Glass research and development project, with a mission of producing a mass-market ubiquitous computer. Google Glass received recognition by Time Magazine as one of the “Best Inventions of the Year 2012″, alongside inventions such as the Curiosity Rover.
June 2013: Google buys mapping and navigation company Waze to boost its mapping software and self-driving car capability. Google balloons fitted with internet transmitters launched. The project aims to spread affordable Internet access to even the most remote regions. Project Loon was developed in the clandestine Google X lab that also came up with a driverless car and Google’s Web-surfing eyeglasses.
September 2013: Android passes 1 billion device activations—reflecting the work of the entire Android ecosystem and also a reflection of the enthusiasm of users all around the world.
January 26 2014: Google Inc. announced it had agreed to acquire DeepMind Technologies, a privately held artificial intelligence company. DeepMind describes itself as having the ability to combine the best techniques from machine learning and systems neuroscience to build general-purpose learning algorithms. DeepMind’s first commercial applications were used in simulations, e-commerce and games.
January 2014: Google announced it was selling its Motorola Mobility unit to China-based Lenovo, for $2.91bn. The company kept the extensive patent collection used to develop Android products, considered the most valuable part of the original deal. Nonetheless, the sale price was significantly less than the $12.5 billion Google had bought Motorola Mobility for. The $2.91bn price tag consisted of $660 million in cash, $750 million in Lenovo ordinary shares, and a $1.5 billion 3-year promissory note
September 2014: Google Maps made available in Hindi language; added Hindi voice navigation, Introduction of Android One in India, Google Voice search accepts Indian accents
August 2015: Google names India-born Sundar Pichai as its CEO, replacing Larry Page, who became CEO of Alphabet. Upon assuming office, Pichai announced a surprise overhaul of its operating structure, creating a holding company called Alphabet to separate the core web advertising business from newer ventures like driverless cars. Google adopts new logo logo and branding, to reckon with a world of seamless computing reflecting how Google is working for users across an endless number of devices and different kinds of inputs (such as tap, type and talk).
December 2016: Google announced that starting in 2017, it will power all of its data centers, as well as all of its offices, from 100% renewable energy. The commitment will make Google “the world’s largest corporate buyer of renewable power, with commitments reaching 2.6 gigawatts (2,600 megawatts) of wind and solar energy”.As of 2016, Google owned and operated nine data centers across North and South America, two in Asia, and four in Europe.
September 2017: HTC announced a “cooperation agreement” in which it would sell non-exclusive rights to certain intellectual property, as well as smartphone talent, to Google for $1.1 billion
Google’s success lies in the fact that they have built one of the best known brands in the world. There are also several instances of failure as the company kept up with its growth momentum, adapting to new technology and market trends, which many of its contemporaries have failed. This did not just happen overnight but was the result of a concerted marketing effort and a mindset to innovate. After all if people automatically associate Google with search engines it is pretty hard to get them to try a different one, says a Google user. To sum up with Page’s quote, “If you’re changing the world, you’re working on important things. You’re excited to get up in the morning,”a humble lesson for all business and technology professionals in the industry.
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