Key Organizations in Free & Open-Source Software – Google Inc

Google Inc. is an American software company best known for its search and internet advertising services. Through its own product developments, as well as acquisitions, Google also now offers online mapping, news, various types of business application software, email (Gmail), video sharing (through the YouTube web site which it owns), and blogging (through the Blogger web site). Additionally, the company has begun to experiment with offline advertising in radio and print media, and in 2006, purchased the radio advertising company, dMarc. The company was originally founded in 1998 and is headquartered in Mountain View, California.

Google went public in August 19th 2004, and is today listed on both the NASDAQ and London Stock Exchange (LSE) under the tickers GOOG and GGEA respectively. Google employs over 13,000 (as June 2007), and had net revenues of over US $10.6 billion, and net income of over US $3 billion in 2006. The vast majority of the company’s revenue comes from advertising programs: for example, in 2006, the company reported revenue of US $10,492 million from advertising, but just US $112 million from licensing and other sources, which equates to almost a 99:1 ratio.

Although Google retains many proprietary technologies (most famously its search engine and AdWords/AdSense advertising system, but many others too), the company is heavy user of open source software. For example, Google runs its Internet applications on a server-farm containing computers running a stripped-down version of Linux. Since 2005, the company has contributed back to the open source community by operating an annual program, known as the “Google Summer of Code”, by which students who complete approved open source projects during the Summer, are rewarded with funding.

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