For expanding its hit lineup
Since returning to the big office last spring, CEO Larry Page has created an executive brain trust--and now they’re transforming Google from a single product into a diversified web power. YouTube’s channel-centric makeover reimagines cable TV in an unlimited bandwidth world, Android helped partners sell more than 250 million phones last year (earning Google an estimated $4 billion in mobile ad sales), Chrome has surpassed Firefox as the second-most-popular web browser (to Microsoft’s), and Google+ continues to be integrated deeply into all of Google’s products. Yet, there’s cause for concern. The company is beset by accusations--some of which it’s had to acknowledge--of overzealously favoring its own products in its search results, moves that have attracted antitrust attention from Congress and the Justice Department. It begs the question: Can Google stop itself from becoming Microsoft?
Illustration by Peter Oumanski