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Google Inc. is an American multinational corporation that provides Internet-related products and services, including internet search, cloud computing, software and advertising technologies.xl96 Advertising revenues from AdWords generate almost all of the company’s profits.xl96xl96
The company was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin while both attended Stanford University. Together, Brin and Page own about 16 percent of the company’s stake. Google was first incorporated as a privately held company on September 4, 1998, and its initial public offering followed on August 19, 2004. The company’s mission statement from the outset was “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”xl96 and the company’s unofficial slogan is “Don’t be evil”.xl96xl96 In 2006, the company moved to its headquarters in Mountain View, California.
Rapid growth since incorporation has triggered a chain of products, acquisitions, and partnerships beyond the company’s core web search engine. The company offers online productivity software including email, an office suite, and social networking. Google’s products extend to the desktop as well, with applications for web browsing, organizing and editing photos, and instant messaging. Google leads the development of the Android mobile operating system, as well as the Google Chrome OS browser-only operating system,xl96 found on specialized netbooks called Chromebooks. Google has increasingly become a hardware company with its partnerships with major electronics manufacturers on its high-end Nexus series of devices and its acquisition of Motorola Mobility in May 2012,xl96 as well as the construction of fiber-optic infrastructure in Kansas City as part of the Google Fiber broadband Internet service project.xl96
Google has been estimated to run over one million servers in data centers around the world,xl96 and process over one billion search requestsxl96 and about twenty-four petabytes of user-generated data every day.xl96xl96xl96xl96
As of December 2012, 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 and Blogger.xl96 Google also ranks number two in the BrandZ brand equity database.xl96 The dominant market position of Google’s services has led to criticism of the company over issues including privacy, copyright, and censorship.xl96xl96