Google at 20 years old

4 September 1998 was the birth of Google out of a garage. What started off as a simple search engine is now a huge conglomerate known for innovative thinking and widespread diversification of products.
  • By the early 2000s, Google search was already doing well. Yahoo Mail and Hotmail (owned by Microsoft) were the only popular email clients. Hotmail gave 2 MB of storage space which even at that time was too less. Google kicked off Gmail by offering 1 GB at launch in 2004.
  • This was followed by GTalk, Google’s first chat client which eventually outlasted Yahoo! Chat or MSN Messenger. Google started regularly launching or acquiring new products that would get more and more people aboard the Google train — Chrome, Maps, Earth, YouTube, Android, Drive, Photos.
  • Before Android phones started showing up in the Indian market you had three types — the BlackBerry, the Nokia or the many Java-based smart feature phones. The iPhone was quite difficult to get by in India. Android was bought by Googleby 2005 and kick-started the smartphone revolution.
  • According to their own Next Billion Users Program, close to 40 million users will get on to the internet per year in India and 45 percent of those will be women, a majority of its population under the 35 years age bracket, and an English-speaking one at that — is something it is to invest heavily in by launching some products in India before taking them global. Google’s only objective is to get people online. Once that is done, thanks to the vast number of online services Google provides, it knows for a fact that the user will eventually end up using one of them.
  • Initiatives such as offline YouTubedownloading, offline Mapstwo-wheeler navigation on Maps, Google Voice search in Indian languages, AndroidGo Oreo edition, Files Go, Maps Go, Datally, and many more have the Indian user in mind. It even has a special edition version of Google Assistant and YouTube for the KaiOS sporting JioPhone.
  • Google launched an India exclusive app called Neighbourly, which basically is a hyperlocal app that crowdsources answers to some of your questions with regards to your neighbourhood. Google is even adding regional language focussed features in a lot of its products.
  • Knowing that online medium isn’t the only way to reach the untapped Indian markets, we have been seeing a lot of offline initiatives as well. RailTel Wi-Fi and Google Stationsare unique Google initiatives which promise free Wi-Fi connectivity for a lot of smartphone users. So Google makes India specific products, to ensure more Indians are loyal to the ecosystem
Google’s 20-year journey has been more than eventful and now has interests in fields as varied as satellite mapping, artificial intelligence, self-driven cars, healthcare research, space research and much more. Can you imagine India’s internet revolution without Google?


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