What is Google Alphabet?
Google’s new parent company. It was announced in a blogpost by Google co-founder Larry Page. He says the idea is to make Google ‘cleaner and more accountable’. A number of smaller companies will run beneath Alphabet, the largest being Google.
Page now becomes the CEO of Alphabet, and Google co-founder Sergey Brin its president. Sundar Pichai becomes CEO of Google.
What’s the idea behind it?
To draw a line between Google’s core web-based business and the experimental stuff. The aim is to separate the running of projects that aren’t related in any way.
A tale of 2 Googles
Search, Maps, YouTube etc. This is what you think when someone says Google. But Google is these days about much more. Driverless cars, smart home gadgets and even robots. Google refers to the most offbeat of these projects as ‘Moonshots’.
How will it be split up?
Google Inc: Google’s bread and butter – web search, Android, Maps, Chrome, Google Docs and YouTube will be run under Google Inc
Alphabet: Life Sciences – contact lenses designed for diabetics; Calico – health and wellbeing research; Nest Labs – the smart learning thermostat; Google X – Google’s research lab etc will be run under Alphabet
What Google says
Larry Page says this is the latest step in Google’s long-term aim to always ‘do more, and to do important things with the resources we have’.
He explains how small, start-up projects that seem at best random at first can grow to become massive.
Larry says: ‘We did a lot of things that seemed crazy at the time. Many of those crazy things now have over a billion users, like Google Maps, YouTube, Chrome, and Android. And we haven’t stopped there. We are still trying to do things other people think are crazy but we are super excited about.’
How it affects you – what the experts say
We asked the Press Association wire tech reporter Martyn Landi and the editor of Stuff.tv Marc McLaren how they see Alphabet affecting Google as we know it – Android, search, Chrome, YouTube etc.
Marc at Stuff.tv says: ‘Google itself, plus Android, Chrome and the other big money makers – can concentrate on taking over the world, while the more niche and experimental projects such as Nest Labs, Google X and Calico can do their thing off to one side.
But none of that should make much difference to you or I as we browse the web for YouTube videos on our Android phones. Google will still rule the internet.’
Martyn at the Press Association says: ‘In day-to-day use, this restructuring of Google will have little impact on consumers. This is more about creating a clearer identity for the different branches of Google.
‘The main area of Google is now much more streamlined and concise. The more leftfield ideas are now getting some independence at Alphabet. The idea is to give these projects space to breathe and grow.’
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