14 Years of Google

Started in 1998, it now pushes the web to new standards

Born in a garage, Google comes from humble beginnings. But it has managed to fight all adversities and become the leader of the boys on the “search” block, as well as an important player in other neighborhoods.

Still in its early teens (just turned 14), Google is now a billionaire known across the globe and manages to push web standards to new limits. Its products are global and mainly developed around search.

The most popular include web search, news aggregation, blogging, image search, video, map search, online storage, social networking, language tools, financial information, email service, a web browser, a digital library and a mobile operating system.

The 2004 IPO gave the company the financial power to acquire Keyhole, a digital mapping company and YouTube, in 2006. These services were not successful straight off the bat but Google turned things around. Today, the Maps service helps users find their way in traffic, view street-level images, explore the Earth, the moon and recently, the oceans.

YouTube usage has also exploded, especially due to videos with double rainbows, cats (lots of them), Justin Bieber clips and Psy’s Gangnam Style. Check overall stats.

Android platform for mobile devices was announced in 2007 and it has since become a worthy competitor on the market. It now runs on smartphones from top manufacturers. There are more than 600,000 apps available for the platform in Google Play.

Google Chrome, the company’s open-source web browser, has been released in 2008 and changed its status from “underdog” to “trendsetter”, by imposing high standards for browser speed, security and simplicity.

One of the latest major projects launched by Google is the social networking platform, Google+. Designed for real life sharing (HIRLs are real), the service raked about 150 million active users in a little over a year from launch.

With reports saying that one third of Google’s acquisitions (the latest being malware-scanning site VirusTotal) are flops, failures are indeed numerous; but they are also necessary in order to attain new realms of success.

Google took its name from the mathematical term “googol”, which represents the number 1 followed by 100 zeros, was founded in 1998 and became a public company in 2004, four months after launching their own email service, Gmail.

Happy B-Day Google, and thank you for the cakes!

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