Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) is an American multinational Internet and software corporation specialized in Internet search, cloud computing, and advertising technologies. It 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 while they were both attending Stanford University.
Google was first incorporated as a privately held company on September 4, 1998, and its initial public offering followed on August 19, 2004. At that time Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Eric Schmidt agreed to work together at Google for 20 years, until the year 2024. The company's mission statement from the outset was "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful", and the company's unofficial slogan is "Don't be evil". In 2006, the company moved to its current headquarters in Mountain View, California.
Google's rapid growth since its incorporation has triggered a chain of products, acquisitions, and partnerships beyond the company's core web search engine. The company offers online productivity software, such as the Gmail email service, the Google Docs office suite, and the Google+ social networking service. Google's products extend to the desktop as well, with applications such as the Google Chrome web browser, the Picasa photo organizing and editing software, and the Google Talk instant messaging application. Google leads the development of the Android mobile operating system, as well as the Google Chrome OS browser-only operating system, found on specialized laptops called Chromebooks.
Google has been estimated to run over one million servers in data centers around the world, and process over one billion search requests and about twenty-four petabytes of user-generated data every day. As of September 2009 Alexa listed the main U.S.-focused google.com site as the Internet's most visited website, and numerous international Google sites as being in the top hundred, as well as several other Google-owned sites such as YouTube, Blogger and Orkut. Google also ranks number two in the BrandZ brand equity database. The dominant market position of Google's services has led to criticism of the company over issues including privacy, copyright, and censorship.
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