Google Celebrates 18th Birthday with India-focused Strategy

Tech major announced launches in three categories: Access, Platform, and Products

g1Technology giant Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG), as part of its India-focused strategy, is aiming to bring more people online, as reported by The Times of India on September 27th, 2016. As part of these initiatives, Google launched products like Google Station and YouTube Go to make it easier for India’s billion-plus population to get connected to the internet faster and better.

The Company announced launches in three categories: Access, Platform and Products, covering services like Google Play, Chrome, YouTube Go, Google Station, Google Duo, and Allo. It is estimated that three Indians come online every second, signifying that India offers huge potential for Google services and products. By building India-specific products, Google is aiming to cater to a large internet user group that faces challenges in terms of bandwidth capacity and slow network speed.g2

Google makes rapid strides in AI

Google has been making rapid strides in localizing Google Search due to its artificial intelligence (AI) push and the introduction of machine learning. AI, which encompasses computing methods like advanced data analytics, computer vision, natural language processing, and machine learning, is hastily gaining ground and transforming the way businesses operate. Machine learning and its subset deep learning are key methods for the expanding field of AI. Google is now capable of translating 100 languages and 12 of these are from India. Given that more than 20% of mobile searches using Google are made by voice, and not written text, Google is also looking at improving voice search functionalities using its AI capabilities.

Moreover, the AI-powered Google Assistant, which is currently available only in English in India, would be available in Hindi later in 2016, via the newly launched mobile messaging app Allo. Google Assistant, developed to compete with Amazon.com Inc.‘s (NASDAQ: AMZN) Alexa and Apple Inc.‘s (NASDAQ: AAPL) Siri, has the ability to understand the intent of a request.

Huge response for communication apps in India

Amit Fulay, Product Lead for communication apps Google Duo and Google Allo, said that India and the U.S. have the most number of Duo users. Allo has also seen a tremendous response in India, the first country in which Google launched its new Allo messaging app. With Google Assistant would be available in Hindi in the near future, the automated smart replies that Allo suggests will be available in Hindi too.

g3Google has also announced new features in Chrome; the new Chrome now saves data, has offline capabilities, and has more accurate content discovery. Chrome can now work on 2G data connection. It has a new space for downloaded content including web pages and videos. Chrome now offers users more personalized suggestions in new tab. Google also launched YouTube Go, which has an easy user interface, works on low connectivity, cuts cost in data usage, and offers personalized suggestions to the users.

Google launches Google Station

At the second “Google for India” event in India’s capital New Delhi on September 27th, 2016, which coincided with the search giant’s 18th birthday, Google announced the launch of a public Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) platform called Google Station, which will connect public places like malls, railway stations, bus stops and hangouts like cafes and universities. Under Google Station, a service that aims to offer free and secure Wi-Fi in public places across the country, Google is looking to establish free Wi-Fi hot spots at public places.

g4The Company also offers a partnership program where anyone who wants to be a part of Google Station to bring broader internet access to the masses can sign up and access their toolkit of services for enabling deployment. In association with RailTel, Google currently offers free Wi-Fi access at 52 railway stations across India, which it plans to scale it up to 100 stations by early 2017. The plan focuses on taking the service to a total of 400 train stations in India. Currently, around 3.5 million users are using the Google free Wi-Fi services.

Stock performance

g5Alphabet’s stock stood at $777.29, gaining 0.29%, at the close on Friday, September 30th, 2016, having vacillated between an intraday high of $780.94 and a low of $774.09 during the session. The stock’s trading volume was at 1,582,655 for the day. The Company’s market cap was at $529.27 billion as of Friday’s close.

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