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Google is now a tech giant, but has been a survivor since it started.

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Today, Google’s power and success may seem inevitable, thanks to Larry Page and Sergey Brin’s decryption of the search code, but the reality is quite different. Google was born in a state of war in the early 2000s. Microsoft is a high-tech Goliath that had an Internet Explorer browser on 90% of all computers at the time and essentially controlled access to Google’s search engines by most people. And even if Google won the battle, Google has faced a new battle ever since.

Land of the Giants Episode 2: Google Empire is a new seven-part podcast about companies being promoted to global giants. Find out about Google, which the Justice Department and several state prosecutors are currently suing on antitrust issues. , Had to fight for survival through its existence.

Google reached its current heights only by first paving the way for lasting relevance and ultimately adopting the mindset of survivors who dominate areas such as search and mobile operating systems. The fear of the company’s early failure is in many current decisions, such as paying competitors (such as Apple) to make the operating system the default search engine, or filling search results with their own products. It seems that it is still appearing.

Google’s survival story begins when Internet Explorer occupies the highest position and Microsoft could easily replace Google as the default search option for browsers. At that time, I didn’t enter a search query in the address bar of my browser. To search on Google, type www.google.com in the address bar or press the search button in your browser (go to the Google web page). If desired, Microsoft can build its own search engine and make it the default, or enable searches in non-Google address bars. If Microsoft had done that, it was probably the end of Google. Therefore, Google knew that a workaround was needed.

The workaround was the Google Toolbar, a browser extension that adds a Google search bar just below the browser’s address bar. A few years after Google released it, hundreds of millions of people were using the toolbar. This is largely due to Google’s signing of distribution agreements with companies such as Adobe and the inclusion of the toolbar in the installation package and its ease of use. Google felt like it had solved the problem for a while.

But when Google begins developing other core web-based programs such as Gmail, documents, and calendars, it will allow other companies, especially competitors like Microsoft, to control the experience of people on the web. The idea made Google uneasy. Google saw Microsoft developing its own search engine, first called Live Search, then Bing, to encourage people to use Google Search over their competitors. I decided I couldn’t just rely on the toolbar. The company needed its own browser. That’s why it led to the creation of Chrome.

Google Chrome took off because it’s fast, simple, and easy to use, and also because Google used a similar distribution transaction from the toolbar to push it to the masses. However, although Chrome was a huge success, it is now the world’s dominant desktop browser, offering only a brief relief. Just as Chrome has taken hold on the desktop, the mobile revolution has begun and Google is back in the open.

Google didn’t want any other company, whether it was Microsoft or Apple, that controlled how people accessed the Web and its products from their mobile phones and other handheld devices. We also knew that we could benefit from some standardization of the mobile web. And that was the foundation of Android, a mobile operating system acquired in 2005 and developed in-house. Today, Android powers almost 85% of the world’s mobile phones. So Google is more than just a search for a website, it’s the way to the web for most people.

Without Android and Chrome, Google would probably have been banished irrelevant, Brian Rakowski, Google’s vice president of product management working on both Chrome and Google’s mobile activities, told us. We were probably overwhelmed or a very small company, and if we couldn’t, we would probably be an irrelevant company.

Google, a junk startup that once tried to keep Microsoft from being overwhelmed by all these battles, claims to be at the top of the tech world today, but has grown too large to illegally suppress competition. Also faced.

Subscribe to Land of the Giants: The Google Empire now for more articles on Google’s incredible rise, from mobile phone wars to corporate internal tensions to the current antitrust battle. And tell us your thoughts: I was on Twitter at @kantrowitz and @shiringhaffary.

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