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21 septembre 2010 2 21 /09 /septembre /2010 15:41

Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG, FWB: GGQ1) is a multinational public cloud computing, Internet search, and advertising technologies corporation. Google hosts and develops a number of Internet-based services and products,  and generates profit primarily from advertising through its AdWords program.  The company was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, often dubbed the "Google Guys",  while the two were attending Stanford University as Ph.D. candidates        (Dell XPS M1210 Battery)    .

It was first incorporated as a privately held company on September 4, 1998, with its initial public offering to follow on August 19, 2004. The company's stated mission from the outset was "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful", and the company's unofficial slogan – coined by Google engineer Paul Buchheit – is Don't be evil.  In 2006, the company moved to their current headquarters in Mountain View, California      (Dell Studio XPS 1340 Battery)       .

Google runs over one million servers in data centers around the world,and processes over one billion search requests and twenty petabytes of user-generated data every day.  Google's rapid growth since its incorporation has triggered a chain of products, acquisitions and partnerships beyond the company's core search engine. The company offers online productivity software, such as its Gmail e-mail software, and social networking tools, including Orkut and, more recently, Google Buzz      (Dell Studio XPS 1640 Battery)      .

Google's products extend to the desktop as well, with applications such as the web browser Google Chrome, the Picasa photo organization and editing software, and the Google Talk instant messaging application. More notably, Google leads the development of the Android mobile phone operating system, used on a number of phones such as the Nexus One and Motorola Droid. Because of its popularity and numerous products, Alexa lists Google as the Internet's most visited website.  Google is also Fortune Magazine's fourth best place to work,  and BrandZ's most powerful brand in the world. The dominant market position of Google's services has led to criticism of the company over issues including privacy, copyright, and censorship       (Dell Vostro 1710 Battery)      .

History

Google began in January 1996 as a research project by Larry Page and Sergey Brin when they were both PhD students at Stanford University in California.  While conventional search engines ranked results by counting how many times the search terms appeared on the page, the two theorized about a better system that analyzed the relationships between websites.They called this new technology PageRank, where a website's relevance was determined by the number of pages, and the importance of those pages, that linked back to the original site       (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ11S Battery)  .

A small search engine called Rankdex was already exploring a similar strategy.  Page and Brin originally nicknamed their new search engine "BackRub", because the system checked backlinks to estimate the importance of a site. Eventually, they changed the name to Google, originating from a misspelling of the word "googol",  the number one followed by one hundred zeros, which was meant to signify the amount of information the search engine was to handle. Originally, Google ran under the Stanford University website, with the domain google.stanford.edu. The domain google.com was registered on September 15, 1997,  and the company was incorporated on September 4, 1998, at a friend's garage in Menlo Park, California       (ASUS EEE PC900 battery)      .

Financing and initial public offering

The first funding for Google was an August 1998 contribution of US$100,000 from Andy Bechtolsheim, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, given before Google was even incorporated. Early in 1999, while still graduate students, Brin and Page decided that the search engine they had developed was taking up too much of their time from academic pursuits. They went to Excite CEO George Bell and offered to sell it to him for $1 million       (Dell RM791 battery)     .

He rejected the offer, and later criticized Vinod Khosla, one of Excite's venture capitalists, after he had negotiated Brin and Page down to $750,000. On June 7, 1999, a $25 million round of funding was announced, with major investors including the venture capital firms Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sequoia Capital    (Sony VGP-BPS13 battery)          .

Google's initial public offering (IPO) took place five years later on August 19, 2004. The company offered 19,605,052 shares at a price of $85 per share.  Shares were sold in a unique online auction format using a system built by Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse, underwriters for the deal.  The sale of $1.67 billion gave Google a market capitalization of more than $23 billion. The vast majority of the 271 million shares remained under the control of Google, and many Google employees became instant paper millionaires. Yahoo!, a competitor of Google, also benefited because it owned 8.4 million shares of Google before the IPO took place        (sony vgp-bpl9 battery)         .

Some people speculated that Google's IPO would inevitably lead to changes in company culture. Reasons ranged from shareholder pressure for employee benefit reductions to the fact that many company executives would become instant paper millionaires. As a reply to this concern, co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page promised in a report to potential investors that the IPO would not change the company's culture.  In 2005, however, articles in The New York Times and other sources began suggesting that Google had lost its anti-corporate, no evil philosophy        (Sony VGP-BPL11 battery)        .

In an effort to maintain the company's unique culture, Google designated a Chief Culture Officer, who also serves as the Director of Human Resources. The purpose of the Chief Culture Officer is to develop and maintain the culture and work on ways to keep true to the core values that the company was founded on: a flat organization with a collaborative environment.  Google has also faced allegations of sexism and ageism from former employees      (Sony VGP-BPL15 battery)      .

The stock's performance after the IPO went well, with shares hitting $700 for the first time on October 31, 2007,  primarily because of strong sales and earnings in the online advertising market.  The surge in stock price was fueled mainly by individual investors, as opposed to large institutional investors and mutual funds.  The company is now listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the ticker symbol GOOG and under the Frankfurt Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol GGQ1           (Dell Inspiron E1505 battery )       .

Growth

In March 1999, the company moved its offices to Palo Alto, California, home to several other noted Silicon Valley technology startups. The next year, against Page and Brin's initial opposition toward an advertising-funded search engine, Google began selling advertisements associated with search keywords.  In order to maintain an uncluttered page design and increase speed, advertisements were solely text-based. Keywords were sold based on a combination of price bids and click-throughs, with bidding starting at five cents per click          (Dell Latitude E6400 battery)      .

This model of selling keyword advertising was first pioneered by Goto.com, an Idealab spin-off created by Bill Gross.  When the company changed names to Overture Services, it sued Google over alleged infringements of the company's pay-per-click and bidding patents. Overture Services would later be bought by Yahoo! and renamed Yahoo! Search Marketing. The case was then settled out of court, with Google agreeing to issue shares of common stock to Yahoo! in exchange for a perpetual license    (HP Pavilion dv6000 Battery)         .

During this time, Google was granted a patent describing its PageRank mechanism.  The patent was officially assigned to Stanford University and lists Lawrence Page as the inventor. In 2003, after outgrowing two other locations, the company leased its current office complex from Silicon Graphics at 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway in Mountain View, California. The complex has since come to be known as the Googleplex, a play on the word googolplex, the number one followed by a googol zeroes. Three years later, Google would buy the property from SGI for $319 million        (Hp Pavilion dv3-1000 battery)        .

By that time, the name "Google" had found its way into everyday language, causing the verb "google" to be added to the Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary and the Oxford English Dictionary, denoted as "to use the Google search engine to obtain information on the Internet       (Dell Precision M70 Battery)        ."

Acquisitions and partnerships

Advertising

Ninety-nine percent of Google's revenue is derived from its advertising programs.  For the 2006 fiscal year, the company reported $10.492 billion in total advertising revenues and only $112 million in licensing and other revenues. Google has implemented various innovations in the online advertising market that helped make them one of the biggest advertisers in the market. Using technology from the company DoubleClick, Google can determine user interests and target advertisements so they are relevant to their context and the user that is viewing them         (Acer Aspire One battery)        .

Google Analytics allows website owners to track where and how people use their website, allowing in-depth research to get users to go where you want them to go.  Google advertisements can be placed on third-party websites in a two-part program. Google's AdWords allows advertisers to display their advertisements in the Google content network, through either a cost-per-click or cost-per-view scheme. The sister service, Google AdSense, allows website owners to display these advertisements on their website, and earn money every time ads are clicked           (SONY VGP-BPS8 battery)          .

One of the disadvantages and criticisms of this program is Google's inability to combat click fraud, when a person or automated script "clicks" on advertisements without being interested in the product, to earn money for the website owner. Industry reports in 2006 claim that approximately 14 to 20 percent of clicks were in fact fraudulent or invalid.  Furthermore, there has been controversy over Google's "search within a search", where a secondary search box enables the user to find what they are looking for within a particular website        (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ Battery)         .

It was soon reported that when performing a search within a search for a specific company, advertisements from competing and rival companies often showed up along with those results, drawing users away from the site they were originally searching. Another complaint against Google's advertising is their censorship of advertisers, though many cases concern compliance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act          (Sony VGN-FZ460E battery)        .

For example, in February 2003, Google stopped showing the advertisements of Oceana, a non-profit organization protesting a major cruise ship's sewage treatment practices. Google cited its editorial policy at the time, stating "Google does not accept advertising if the ad or site advocates against other individuals, groups, or organizations."  The policy was later changed. In June 2008, Google reached an advertising agreement with Yahoo!, which would have allowed Yahoo! to feature Google advertisements on their web pages. The alliance between the two companies was never completely realized due to antitrust concerns by the U.S. Department of Justice. As a result, Google pulled out of the deal in November 2008        (Hp 520 battery)          .

Search engine

The Google web search engine is the company's most popular service. According to market research published by comScore in November 2009, Google is the dominant search engine in the United States market, with a market share of 65.6%.  Google indexes trillions of web pages, so that users can search for the information they desire, through the use of keywords and operators. In 2003, The New York Times complained about Google's indexing, claiming that Google's caching of content on their site infringed on their copyright for the content        (Toshiba Satellite L305 Battery)        .

In this case, the United States District Court of Nevada ruled in favor of Google in Field v. Google and Parker v. Google. Google Watch has also criticized Google's PageRank algorithms, saying that they discriminate against new websites and favor established sites, and has made allegations about connections between Google and the NSA and the CIA.  Despite criticism, the basic search engine has spread to specific services as well, including an image search engine, the Google News search site, Google Maps, and more             (Toshiba Satellite Pro M15 Battery)         .

In early 2006, the company launched Google Video, which allowed users to upload, search, and watch videos from the Internet. In 2009, however, uploads to Google Video were discontinued so that Google could focus more on the search aspect of the service.  The company even developed Google Desktop, a desktop search application used to search for files local to one's computer        (Sony Vaio VGN-FZ18M battery)           .

One of the more controversial search services Google hosts is Google Books. The company began scanning books and uploading limited previews, and full books where allowed, into their new book search engine. The Authors Guild, a group that represents 8,000 U.S. authors, filed a class action suit in a Manhattan federal court against Google in 2005 over this new service. Google replied that it is in compliance with all existing and historical applications of copyright laws regarding books. Google eventually reached a revised settlement in 2009 to limit its scans to books from the U.S., the U.K., Australia and Canada        (Dell INSPIRON 1525 battery)    .

Furthermore, the Paris Civil Court ruled against Google in late 2009, asking them to remove the works of La Martinière (Éditions du Seuil) from their database.  In competition with Amazon.com, Google plans to sell digital versions of new books.  Similarly, in response to newcomer Bing, on July 21, 2010, Google updated their image search to display a streaming sequence of thumbnails that enlarge when pointed at. Though web searches still appear in a batch per page format, on July 23, 2010, dictionary definitions for certain English words began appearing above the linked results for web searches        (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ31z Battery)       .

Productivity tools

In addition to its standard web search services, Google has released over the years a number of online productivity tools. Gmail, a free webmail service provided by Google, was launched as an invitation-only beta program on April 1, 2004, and became available to the general public on February 7, 2007. The service was upgraded from beta status on July 7, 2009,  at which time it had 146 million users monthly.  The service would be the first online email service with one gigabyte of storage, and the first to keep emails from the same conversation together in one thread, similar to an Internet forum         (Dell Studio 1555 Battery)         .

The service currently offers over 7400 MB of free storage with additional storage ranging from 20 GB to 16 TB available for US$0.25 per 1 GB per year.  Furthermore, software developers know Gmail for its pioneering use of AJAX, a programming technique that allows web pages to be interactive without refreshing the browser. One criticism of Gmail has been the potential for data disclosure, a risk associated with many online web applications. Steve Ballmer (Microsoft's CEO),  Liz Figueroa, Mark Rasch,  and the editors of Google Watch  believe the processing of email message content goes beyond proper use, but Google claims that mail sent to or from Gmail is never read by a human being beyond the account holder, and is only used to improve relevance of advertisements      (Dell Vostro 1720 Battery)       .

Google Docs, another part of Google's productivity suite, allows users to create, edit, and collaborate on documents in an online environment, not dissimilar to Microsoft Word. The service was originally called Writely, but was obtained by Google on March 9, 2006, where it was released as an invitation-only preview.  On June 6 after the acquisition, Google created an experimental spreadsheet editing program,  which would be combined with Google Docs on October 10.  A program to edit presentations would complete the set on September 17, 2007, before all three services were taken out of beta along with Gmail, Google Calendar and all products from the Google Apps Suite on July 7, 2009         (Dell Vostro 1500 Battery)           .

Enterprise products

Google entered the enterprise market in February 2002 with the launch of its Google Search Appliance, targeted toward providing search technology for larger organizations.  Google launched the Mini three years later, which was targeted at smaller organizations. Late in 2006, Google began to sell Custom Search Business Edition, providing customers with an advertising-free window into Google.com's index. The service was renamed Google Site Search in 2008        (Dell Latitude D830 Battery)      .

Another one of Google's enterprise products is Google Apps Premier Edition. The service, and its accompanying Google Apps Education Edition and Standard Edition, allow companies, schools, and other organizations to bring Google's online applications, such as Gmail and Google Documents, into their own domain. The Premier Edition specifically includes extras over the Standard Edition such as more disk space, API access, and premium support, and it costs $50 per user per year         (Dell XPS M1530 battery)      .

A large implementation of Google Apps with 38,000 users is at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. In the same year Google Apps was launched, Google acquired Postini  and proceeded to integrate the company's security technologies into Google Apps under the name Google Postini Services         (Toshiba Tecra M10 Battery)         .

Other products

Google Translate is a server-side machine translation service, which can translate between 35 different languages. Browser extensions allow for easy access to Google Translate from the browser. The software uses corpus linguistics techniques, where the program "learns" from professionally translated documents, specifically United Nations and European Parliament proceedings. Furthermore, a "suggest a better translation" feature accompanies the translated text, allowing users to indicate where the current translation is incorrect or otherwise inferior to another translation         (Toshiba NB100 Battery)         .

Google launched its Google News service in 2002. The site proclaimed that the company had created a "highly unusual" site that "offers a news service compiled solely by computer algorithms without human intervention. Google employs no editors, managing editors, or executive editors."  The site hosted less licensed news content than Yahoo! News, and instead presented topically selected links to news and opinion pieces along with reproductions of their headlines, story leads, and photographs         (Toshiba Satellite 1900 Battery)       .

The photographs are typically reduced to thumbnail size and placed next to headlines from other news sources on the same topic in order to minimize copyright infringement claims. Nevertheless, Agence France Presse sued Google for copyright infringement in federal court in the District of Columbia, a case which Google settled for an undisclosed amount in a pact that included a license of the full text of AFP articles for use on Google News      (HP Pavilion DV5 Battery)    .

In 2006, Google made a bid to offer free wireless broadband access throughout the city of San Francisco in conjunction with Internet service provider Earthlink. Large telecommunications companies such as Comcast and Verizon opposed such efforts, claiming it was "unfair competition" and that cities would be violating their commitments to offer local monopolies to these companies. In his testimony before Congress on Net Neutrality in 2006, Google's Chief Internet Evangelist Vint Cerf blamed such tactics on the fact that nearly half of all consumers lack meaningful choice in broadband providers.  Google currently offers free wi-fi access in its hometown of Mountain View, California          (Toshiba Satellite P15 Battery)       .

One year later, reports surfaced that Google was planning the release of its own mobile phone, possibly a competitor to Apple's iPhone.  The project, called Android, turned out not to be a phone but an operating system for mobile devices, which Google acquired and then released as an open-source project under the Apache 2.0 license.  Google provides a software development kit for developers so applications can be created to be run on Android-based phone. In September 2008, T-Mobile released the G1, the first Android-based phone.  More than a year later on January 5, 2010, Google released an Android phone under its own company name called the Nexus One       (Ibm ThinkPad X41 Tablet battery)          .

Other projects Google has worked on include a new collaborative communication service, a web browser, and even a mobile operating system. The first of these was first announced on May 27, 2009. Google Wave was described as a product that helps users communicate and collaborate on the web. The service is Google's "email redesigned", with realtime editing, the ability to embed audio, video, and other media, and extensions that further enhance the communication experience        (Toshiba Satellite A200 Battery)         .

Google Wave was previously in a developer's preview, where interested users had to be invited to test the service, but was released to the general public on May 19, 2010, at Google's I/O keynote. On September 1, 2008, Google pre-announced the upcoming availability of Google Chrome, an open-source web browser, which was then released on September 2, 2008. The next year, on 7 July 2009, Google announced Google Chrome OS, an open-source Linux-based operating system that includes only a web browser and is designed to log users into their Google account        (Toshiba NB205 Battery)       .

Google has partnered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office to enable free access to information about patents and trademarks. The beta website is Google Patents      (Toshiba Satellite 1200 Battery)         .

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