A Decade with Google: What's Next?

Dennis Faas's picture

Ten years ago, Google filed its business incorporation papers. In the decade since, the search company has changed the planet. Without any doubt, it is the most successful business on the Internet landscape and is well-poised to continue in that vein.

To fully appreciate Google's achievement, one needs only to examine its history in comparison major competitor Microsoft.

A decade down the road, Google boasts revenues of just under $20 billion. Microsoft is 33 years old and has revenues of approximately $60 billion. At age 10, Microsoft had revenues of only $140 million. Google's market value today is about $142 billion. Microsoft's is about $241 billion. (Source: nytimes.com)

Today, Google has approximately twenty thousand employees. Microsoft has approximately ninety thousand. On average, Google's revenue per employee is about $1 million; Microsoft's is $672 thousand.

On the search engine side of things, Google had 48 billion searches in July of this year compared with only 2.3 billion by Microsoft. On a per hour basis, during that same time, Google had 65 million searches per hour; Microsoft had 3.1 million. By this time next year, Google's search business will be larger than Microsoft's Windows business -- which thus far has been the largest and most profitable monopoly in the history of technology. Google is also growing faster than Microsoft's Windows and Office combined. (Source: alleyinsider.com)

On the application software front, however, Google remains a lightweight. It's true that Google Apps is only $50 versus $350+ for the Microsoft equivalent, but Microsoft sold $12 billion in Office software last year compared to $4 million in Google Apps. Nonetheless, Google has introduced a constant flow of new products and new services during its first 10 years which can easily rival Microsoft's performance over the last 10 years. (Source: cnn.com)

Any way you slice it, going into its 11th year Google's performance is an amazing phenomenon. But the bigger test of maturity is yet to come; in the next decade, the number of web users in developing countries will overtake that of web users in North America.

China alone will be the largest battleground. This year, local Chinese search sites like TenCent, Baidu, and Sina, will all reach more web denizens in China (more than 90 million users) than Google, Microsoft or Yahoo.

True, nobody in North America has heard of these sites before. But then, nobody had heard of Google 10 years ago, either.

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