IT & Network Infrastructure : Top 20 Percent Projects at Google
Top 20 Percent Projects at Google
By Clint Boulton
Top 20 Percent Projects at Google - Page 2
Released on April 1, 2004 (no joke), Gmail is Google's free Web mail service. The application was originally invitation only but was opened to the public in February 2007. While Web mail apps from Yahoo and Microsoft have close to 1 billion users worldwide, Gmail ranges in the tens of millions of users. While the Yahoo and Microsoft apps seem fairly static, Google's Gmail engineers are constantly adding new and sometimes silly features, including Mail Goggles.
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An automated news aggregator, Google News launched in beta April 2002 and emerging from it in January 2006, the system is based on Google's search algorithm. The service covers news articles appearing within the past 30 days on various news sites.
Top 20 Percent Projects at Google - Page 4
Google Talk is a VOIP and instant messaging service. If this sounds like the poor man's version of Skype, well, it is. Unlike the popular Gmail, too few people use Google Talk, prompting some market experts to argue that Google should buy Skype for VOIP market share. Talk, released in beta in August 2005, is just another communication piece to Google Apps.
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Orkut is Google's first take on a social network, dating to January 2004. Like Gmail, Orkut launched to invitation-only status, but launched broadly in October 2006, much too late to gain traction versus the popular MySpace and Facebook platforms, which now have more than 220 million users combined. Curiously, Orkut is big in Brazil and India.
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A feature in Google Earth, Google Sky is an online sky and outer space viewer destined to be popular among Star Trekkies and Star Wars fanatics. The app helps you see the planets and constellations in the sky from your computer in infrared, microwave and historical views.
Top 20 Percent Projects at Google - Page 7
The newest 20 percent project to go public, Google Moderator began as a tool to let Googlers attending a tech talk submit a question and let other participants vote on whether or not that question should be asked. Now the public can use it to help the most popular and relevant questions to rise to the top of the queue.
Top 20 Percent Projects at Google - Page 8
Launched in June 2007, this initiative aims to reduce CO2 emissions, cut oil use and firm up the electrical grid by accelerating the adoption of plug-in, hybrid electric vehicles.
Top 20 Percent Projects at Google - Page 9
Google actually opens its great money-making machine AdWords to non-profits, offering free AdWords advertising to certain charitable organizations.