Google began as a modest project by Larry Page and Sergey Brin when they were both PhD students at Stanford University in California in 1996. By 1998, the website was up and running and it would only be a few years before the phrase ‘Just Google it’ became a euphemism for looking something up on the internet. Google gained quick popularity for being simple, quick and very easy to access.
Now, almost 12 years later, Google does more than just help you search on the web, and here are the details.
Gmail, or Google Mail, started as an invite-only email service provided by Google in 2004. It became accessible to the public in 2007 and has since increasingly become favourable amongst the public. Its relatively simple interface, much inspired from its own simple web search engine, was the key factor in attracting users. At the same time, it was also one of the first email service providers to offer 1GB worth of space.
Much like MSN Web Messenger or Yahoo Web Messenger, Google Chat is the messenger service that helps you stay in touch with other people who have a Gmail account. It's very simple, requires no installation (unless you install the application separately) and is much more than just a simple chatting service.
Whilst Opera, Internet Explorer and Firefox were fighting it out for the attention of web surfers around the world, Google launched Chrome in 2008. Chrome, much like the rest of Google's services, relied on its simplicity and easy to use factor.
In the ever-growing world of social networking, names like Facebook and Twitter are all the rage these days. Buzz is Google's answer to these services, seamlessly connecting all of its users on a social network scale. People can share links, photos and other items of interest on the Buzz tab within their Google Mail inboxes.
Though only available in the United States at the moment, Google Voice will truly revolutionise the way we communicate. This service allows users to communicate through their Gmail accounts via a telephony service. The service aims to attract users of web-phone services and offers alternatives to other programmes such as Skype.
At the time of its inception, a lot of people did not truly understand what Wave was all about. However, now people are realising the true potential of the Wave platform as a medium of allowing multiple users to brainstorm, meet and share ideas online. This is reminiscent of such programmes as Microsoft Net Meeting, albeit totally integrated into the Gmail platform.
Having a strong base in digital communications, Google’s latest venture is into telephony. The Google Phone, or Nexus, is an evolution from the phones that used Google Android, an operating system Google specially developed for phones. Now, the Nexus is a fully developed phone by Google and caters to all the needs of its users that are used to other Google services.
Finally, the next big step for Google is the Google Operating System. Recently announced as being available for the public in the latter half of 2010, Google aims to tackle the likes of Microsoft and Linux. Unlike the two, Google OS provides users with a seamless online experience.
Whatever the Google service, one thing is sure. Google aims to integrate all of its services in one hub, which is Google itself. Just like Google has become synonymous with search on the web, one day with all of its services combined it will become synonymous with the very internet (and forms of communication) itself.