Google is celebrating its eighteenth birthday with a birthday party themed Doodle. The letter G blows up a balloon, contorts it into the Google logo, then flies away, because apparently G breathes out a lighter than air gas.
The reach of the Doodle is global, except for the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, which does not have any Doodles. Google was incorporated in 1998, but the roots of the company go back a little more than that.
The story goes back to 1995 in Stanford. Larry Page was considering joining Stanford, and Sergey Brin is assigned to show him around the school. They begin collaborating on a search engine called BackRub, which hogs all the traffic on the Stanford servers.
In 1997, Page and Brin register the Google.com domain name. In 1998, Sun co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim writes them a check of $ 1,000,000. This was when the first Google Doodle was created, when Page and Brin headed to the burning man festival in Nevada.
In September 1998, Google files for incorporation. Just a year after formation, the search engine gets a $25 million infusion from Sequoia Capital and Kleiner Perkin. Over the course of the next few years, Google launched search in more languages, deployed AdWords and added image searches. Eric Schmidt joined as chairman of the board of directors and then became CEO. In 2004, Gmail was launched, on April 1.
Google’s mission is to organise the world’s information. As one of the largest technology companies in the world, Google has on offer many innovative technologies. These include Google Glass, which is still used by researchers and industry bodies even though it’s no longer being sold to consumers.
Boeing has integrated Glass into its production line. Daydream is a development kit that allows easy creation of virtual reality content. TensorFlow is a machine learning framework used by Google for infusing its products with artificial intelligence that has been open-sourced and made available by Google.
Innovative projects such as the Loon hope to provide internet connectivity to the unserved areas around the world. Google seems to be on the verge of taking on Apple in the premium smartphone category with Google Pixel.