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Google and Beyond

By Greg Craft


Since its incorporation in 1998, Google has become a worldwide icon for its Internet search engine capabilities. Google has grown in every way an Internet giant can and has done so at the top of the list. Originally returning simple text for results, Google now showcases images, movies, and news with your results. While they continue to buy up smaller companies, Google obviously has slightly larger plans for the future.

When your company’s net profit is $4.02 billion dollars for 2007, you can conjure up just about any crazy idea and somehow make it work. Trying to stretch its legs in a vastly growing technological world, Google has been getting into every little piece of it and beyond.

Google has already conquered mapping services with Google Maps, they’ve conquered email with Gmail, and they’re slowly conquering video with Google Video, mainly due to their purchase of YouTube for $1.65 billion. For Google however, the sky’s not the limit, rather the universe is.

Everyone has by now seen Google Earth, which added Google Sky in August of 2007, opening up the entire universe for a Google Earth-like search, but seeing apparently isn’t enough. Google has begun sponsoring a $30 million competition known as Google Lunar X Prize. The winning team must send a robot to the moon, have it travel 500 meters and transmit video, images and data back to Earth. The ability to transmit information from the moon would open an entirely new world of data transmission, which Google is constantly trying to discover better, faster ways to use.

Most recently Google has been trying to get the FCC to release a portion of television’s “white space” to provide wireless Internet nationally. The “white space” is part of the television frequencies that remain unlicensed and unused. By opening up a portion of the “white space”, wireless broadband Internet could be accessed by all Americans, including remote rural communities. Google has begun vying for the release of this space after losing the first two auctions of the U.S. frequency spectrum. By getting the Internet more accessible to more Americans, Google would see an increase in users which could therefore see an increase in ad profits.

Ad revenue is what has built Google into the giant it is today, which could be the reasoning behind their cell phone development project Android. Android is an open-source mobile device software that includes its own operating system. Check out this YouTube video highlighting the features of Android. Google is offering $10 million to developers that build the best applications for Android as a way to heighten the functionality of the software.

Software has seemingly become a new fixation with Google. Whether you are looking for something like Microsoft Office, a 3D application or even a way to manage your medical files, Google has you covered. Google Docs combines word processing, spreadsheets and presentation design software into one product which can be accessed over the Internet. By accessing Google Docs over the Internet, users are able to work collaboratively with other employees, students or whoever else might need access.

Google has even begun tapping into the 3-dimensional side of life with Google SketchUp. SketchUp is a free application that allows users to develop 3D models. While you won’t be able to generate feature films from SketchUp it can be used to make simple models with little knowledge of 3D applications. Google also offers SketchUp Pro for a fee of $495.

Google will also soon be releasing their next online application, Google Health. Google Health will give users the ability to store and manage their medical records online with easy accessibility from any computer connected to the Internet. The online application will be hosted securely through Google. Users will be able to upload doctors’ records, prescription information and test results to their Google Health accounts. Google is expecting a release date later this year.

Google has become one of the most successful online companies in the world. Every year they continue to develop and expand new features that are constantly changing the way we live. And every year rumors begin to spread about Google’s recent projects that could give some highly successful companies a run for their money. Projects like Google “knol” might be in the works to rival the highly successful Wikipedia. Other rumors are that Google is planning an operating system to compete with Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. Even larger rumors suggest that Google may try to purchase Adobe in an effort to keep Microsoft’s Silverlight technology at bay.

While these remain rumors as of now, past rumors suggest that Google might be onto something. Google began with a simple idea of organizing the Internet and have in turn transformed into a technological giant offering not only a search engine, but also highly interactive applications that are continuing to grow day after day. What the future might hold for Google will always remain uncertain because they are typically the ones writing it.