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All this month Google are celebrating an exceptional milestone in the digital universe.
Google, the brainchild of Larry Page and Sergey Brin, has turned 25. From its humble beginnings in a Stanford University dorm room to becoming a global tech titan, Google's journey has been nothing short of extraordinary.
In 1998, Page and Brin had a simple mission: to organise the world's information and make it universally accessible. Little did they know, their search engine would soon become the default way for most people to explore the web.
Over the years, Google has introduced a plethora of products, each one reshaping the way we interact with the world. In 2000, AdWords revolutionised the advertising landscape by allowing advertisers to purchase search terms.
The following year, driven by the demand for Jennifer Lopez's iconic green Versace dress at the Grammys, Google added images to its search results, making visual search a reality.
In 2004, Google launched Gmail, a platform that now boasts over 1.8 billion users. The following year saw the introduction of Google Maps and Earth, forever changing the way we navigate our world.
Google's acquisition of Android in 2005 positioned the company as a major player in the mobile phone industry. The following year, Google purchased YouTube for $1.65 billion, cementing its position in the video-sharing market.
In 2008, Google introduced another game-changer: the Chrome browser. Built with free software components, Chrome quickly gained popularity for its simplicity, speed, and security. It brought the best of Google's features to users' fingertips - from offline integration of Gmail and Docs to automatic website translations. Today, it's not just a web browser, but a pivotal tool in the Google Workspace, allowing seamless content search right from the address bar. Chrome has indeed set a high benchmark in the realm of web browsers, continually evolving to offer a more intuitive, user-friendly browsing experience.
The decade that followed saw Google expand its portfolio even further. We witnessed the launch of Google's first smartphone in 2010, the Play Store in 2012, and the ambitious Google Glass project. Google also ventured into artificial intelligence and self-driving cars with projects like DeepMind and Waymo.
Google's journey hasn't been without its challenges. The company faced record fines from the European Union in 2017 and 2018, signaling the increasing scrutiny of tech giants. Despite these hurdles, Google remains a force to be reckoned with, reporting big earnings year after year.
As we look back on Google's 25-year history, it's clear that this is a company that isn't afraid to innovate, take risks, and, occasionally, fail. From the end of some projects like Stadia to the advent of 'sentient' AI, Google continues to push the boundaries of what's possible.
So, here's to Google – a company that started as a search engine and transformed into a global leader in technology. Happy 25th birthday, Google! We can't wait to see what the next 25 years bring.