Looking back at a decade of Google: too many stumbles, too many changes – VnReview

In 2009, Google was in the top 20 largest companies in the world, mainly thanks to the success of products such as YouTube, Chrome … And in 2019, Google (through its parent company Alphabet) entered the top 5 companies. The world's largest in terms of market capitalization.

The decade of 2010 was indeed a memorable time for the technology industry as a whole, and especially for Google because of its overwhelming influence. Google has invaded (and withdrew from) countless areas of the technology industry in the process of growing. By this time, almost no field has no Google presence.

Despite these failures, Google is getting better results than ever in the context of our early days in 2020. To celebrate a decade of successes and failures, let's look again some of the search giant's events, products, failures, and most notable moves.

2010: humble beginnings


This is certainly not the beginning year of Google, by this time, Google has appeared more than a decade ago. After a monumental IPO in 2004, the company in turn launched (or acquired) Google Maps, Android, YouTube, Chrome, and many other services that helped the company strengthen its leadership. global technology.

However, Google did not sleep on the victory and continued to launch the Nexus One smartphone through cooperation with HTC in 2010. The device runs Android 2.1 Éclair, then upgraded to Gingerbread. However, the Nexus One was not as well-rated as the Nexus S that debuted later that year – a device developed by Samsung, and while still a bit buggy, it laid the foundation for later Google devices. .

2010 was also the beginning of a decade-long event that affected Google: a lawsuit with Oracle. This lawsuit revolves around the use of open source APIs and code; Its results are likely to have major implications for the entire technology industry. Google has received two favorable judgments, but the most recent one reverses the previous two. The battle is still going on, and the supreme court is likely to make a final decision in 2020.

2011: new services launched, old CEO returned


2011 started off with a major turmoil in the company's leadership: Eric Schmidt left the post after 10 years as Google CEO. Larry Page is back as a company leader, marking a milestone in the strategy to continue maintaining Google's startup style, instead of becoming a single major company like Microsoft.

Chromebook fans will remember 2011 – the year Chrome OS was launched. This lightweight open source software now runs on millions of devices used in schools around the world, and Google continues to show its commitment to the platform as it recently launched many high-end Chromebook models such as Pixelbook. Go.

Knowing that the company's future depends on the quality of its Internet access, Google launched gigabit-internet service Google Fiber in Kansas City in mid-2011. The service was later deployed in 8. another area, before being suspended. This is a bold move, challenging telecom companies to find ways to accelerate their high-speed Internet packages – and Google has achieved certain, albeit limited, successes.

In an effort to "follow" the great success of Facebook, Google also launched its own social networking platform: Google Plus. The service builds on previous tests, like Google Wave and Google Buzz, but was eventually shut down in 2019.

Another major service launched in 2011 was Google Wallet (later transformed into Google Pay). It took years for Wallet to evolve into a convenient one-touch payment system like Google Pay today, but at least Google built the foundation before Apple Pay brought the idea of ​​one-touch payments to. majority of users.

In terms of hardware, Google bought Motorola Mobility for more than $ 12 billion, though they never really took full advantage of the purchase. Google then sold Motorola to Lenovo for less than $ 3 billion. Still, Android grew miraculously in 2011, and officially became the largest mobile operating system in the US.

2012: Google Glass fell flat


The most awaited sight in 2012 was the launch of Google Glass at an event that included a live dance, and also the last time Sergey Brin appeared publicly as a company leader. Google Glass was hailed as a technology of the future, but was quickly banned in many places because of privacy and privacy concerns. This glass was later "transformed" into a technology for businesses in 2017.

A more positive event is the appearance of the Nexus 7 tablet – a pretty good price Nexus device. This is the first device to come pre-installed with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with a series of performance improvements thanks to Project Butter.

2012 was also the year Google integrated its mobile cloud services and e-markets into the Google Play Store. Google's App Market is still inferior to Apple's App Store, but both have become huge sources of revenue for the two companies.

2013: Chromecast and bold test products


Following the experiment of Page and Brin, Google announced the establishment of Calico in 2013. The new company will focus on the solutions to fight the diseases caused by aging, though so far they has yet to produce any viable drug or remedy.

Another novel product is Chromecast, which is still loved by many consumers around the world. At the time of launch, it only supported a limited number of apps, but over the years, every streaming service has partnered with Chromecast.

The popular RSS reader, Google Reader, was closed in 2013 because the number of users was too small. Alternatives have never attracted users, because Facebook-style feeds – which are easier to control – have become popular.

2014: acquire more, Andy Rubin leaves


This is the year that Google made many interesting shopping deals to expand its influence in the world of technology. The first is Nest, acquired by Google for $ 3.2 billion. Next is DeepMind, specializing in artificial intelligence, which has contributed to many of Google's products and services through improvements in algorithms and machine learning. Other acquisitions in 2014 include Boston Dynamics (later sold to SoftBank) and Waze.

Google also launched Android Wear in 2014, then renamed it to Wear OS in 2018. Over the years, the operating system for this smartwatch has received many improvements, but so far, it is still something. That is not very suitable for ordinary consumers.

The big event of 2014 was Andy Rubin – who has been an important part of the Android development team since the early days – leaving Google. At that time, he was thought to have gone smoothly, but a 2018 article in the New York Times revealed that Andy Rubin was forced to leave the company for his sexual misconduct. Google's decision to hide the cause of the incident, as well as pay him $ 90 million later, became a major controversy in the company years later.

2015: A for Alphabet, G for Google


Under Page and Brin, Google became a powerful empire with octopus tubes reaching out so many industries that investors sometimes didn't know what they were buying! To help separate Google's core business from test projects like Calico and Google Glass, the company has restructured itself into a series of subsidiaries, operating under a parent company, Alphabet.

Google, Android, YouTube, and other core segments are put together, and all other companies will act as separate subsidiaries of Alphabet. Sundar Pichai was appointed CEO of Google, Page moved to CEO of Alphabet. From the user's perspective, things have hardly changed much.

2015 was also the year Google Fi launched – this is a cheap mobile plan, can switch between networks to give customers the best coverage. By 2019, the service is still healthy, although it has only been implemented in the US

The Nexus product line was officially killed by Google, with the final products being Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X manufactured by Google in cooperation with Huawei and LG. These are devices launched with Android 6.0 Marshmallow, the operating system version currently used by more than 10% of Android users globally.

2016: reveal a new, more modern direction of Google


2016 was a big year for Google. With a new focus placed on the department under the leadership of Sundar Pichai, this was the year when many of the major elements of Google's current strategy began to bear fruit. The most significant developments, quite surprisingly, came from the hardware segment, with the "Made by Google" team launching Google Pixel and Pixel XL with Google Home – both equipped with Google Assistant.

The Google Pixel line has replaced the Nexus line, but Google also intervenes further in the development process (though still cooperating with HTC). They put a lot of effort into camera performance, user experience, and integrate the latest Google "magic" – all thanks to the development process that Google directly controls.

One of the aforementioned magic is Google Assistant, launched in early 2016 along with Google Home smart speakers. It was developed on a platform that was preceded by Google Now, and despite being two years behind Amazon's Alexa and five years after Apple's Siri, Assistant is now one of the market's leading voice assistants.

2016 was the year the self-driving car company Waymo split into its own company under Alphabet. This is one of Alphabet's most successful companies (outside of Google) to date, with an automated taxi service tested in Phoenix, Arizona in 2017.

2017: Pixel 2 and the beginning of major legal troubles


2017 was a relatively quiet year for Google after a vibrant 2016. In an attempt to replicate the success of the first Pixel phone, Google spent more than $ 1 billion on HTC hardware. Besides expertise and intellectual property, this deal gives Google a foothold in Asia for the first time in its history of development.

As for devices, Google launched a high-end Chromebook model – the first-generation Pixelbook, and two new smart speakers – the cheap Google Home Mini and the low-cost Google Home Max. They are the mainstay in the family of "Made by Google" devices for many years to come. The fate of the Google Daydream VR headset and Google Clips camera is not so lucky.

In the field of phones, the Pixel 2 and 2 XL are worthy successors of the first two Pixel models, and help strengthen Google's dominance of camera software. The Pixel 2/2 XL's camera remains top notch for the next year, and recent camera updates, like Night Sight, continue to make it a good choice in 2019.

However, these two phones did not escape controversy. Screen problems, mediocre design, and the absence of headphone jacks, have caused them to be heavily criticized. The absence of a headphone jack is especially serious because Google used to mock Apple iPhone 7 for doing the same thing a year ago. And yet, they don't even include USB-C headphones in the box, and sell headphone adapters for twice as expensive as Apple at the time of launch.

Unlucky luck hanging on Google in many other areas, the most unlucky is an antitrust penalty of up to 2.7 billion by the EU. This is the highest court fee ever issued by regulators, and the reason for this judgment stemmed from Google displaying items on Google Shopping alongside other items in the list of results. search.

This is also the year that sex-related scandals at Google begin to flourish, with James Damore's notes revealing a few serious issues related to the company's culture. Many lawsuits appeared in early 2017, accusing Google of not paying fair wages for women, and the situation got worse after a series of other revelations in the following year.

2018: Slate, scandal, fined again, and marches


2018 is the year Google celebrates its 20th birthday, though at this time, they hardly retain anything of the search company that was founded in 1998. The company continues to launch two new Pixel phones, the Pixel 3 and 3 XL, which are also the two most complete smartphones of the company so far, based on what brought the previous Pixel phones. to the top of glory (except for the quirky rabbit ears on 3 XL).

This is also the year Google expands on the smart home field with the Google Home Hub smart display product. The Google Assistant also received a major update with Google Duplex, which uses AI to mimic natural human speech, thereby making calls on behalf of users. Initially, Duplex was limited to restaurant reservations, but in 2019, it was possible to fill out online forms without you having to enter them directly via Duplex on the web.

But on the tablet array, Google's Pixel Slate is still not able to topple Apple's iPad, because it is too buggy and too expensive. Google later stopped developing the new tablet line, but you can still find it on online stores.

Despite its better business than ever, Google continues to be caught in a series of scandals and penalties. The first is an antitrust penalty of up to $ 5 billion by the European Commission (EC), breaking the EU court record set just a year ago, this time revolving around Google services and pre-installed Chrome browser. on Android devices that, according to the EC, limit the competitiveness of other browsers and search engines.

If that is not enough, 2018 is still the year that the story of Andy Rubin breaks, leading to a large march of employees at Google offices around the world asking for changes. Worse still, the marchers claimed they were included in retaliation by Google, causing at least one of them to leave the company less than a year later.

Other scandals involving Google that have surfaced all over the press also include the launch of a censored search engine in China and the signing of AI development contracts for U.S. military drones – both. both have received countless criticism from the press.

2019: cheap Pixel phones, Google Stadia, and the sublimation of Sundar Pichai


2019 marks the first major shift in Google's hardware strategy since 2016, with the company launching two mid-range Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL smartphones. They bring almost every unique feature on high-end Pixel phones to the mid-range segment. Meanwhile, the Pixel 4 continues to be a trump card in Google's software strategy, despite many problems that have occurred on previous device generations.

Google also took the opportunity to "rebrand" two of the most popular products in 2019. The latest version of Android is no longer named after traditional characters but instead by placing name by number. Changing the name of Android Q to Android 10 is not merely a change of name, but also a new logo and color scheme.

Another big product that Google rebrand – merged rather than – Google Home combined with Nest to form Google Nest. Technically, Nest was completely merged into Google in 2018, but the first products to get the new name were Google Nest Hub Max and Google Nest Hub (formerly Google Home Hub).

2019 is also the year Google announced a cloud game service called Google Stadia, allowing users to play AAA games with just a controller and Internet connection. When it first launched in November, it still lacked some of the promised features, and it's not clear whether this free version of Stadia's 2020 release will make up for that sluggish start.

Finally, in a rather unexpected move, Larry Page resigned as CEO of Alphabet at the end of 2019, making way for Google CEO Sundar Pichai to take power. This means that both Google and Alphabet will be run by the same person, making many people wonder why the two had to separate before. We do not yet see the consequences of this move, but certainly in 2020, everything will be clearer.


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