How do you rate Larry Page's first year as Google CEO?
On April 4, 2011, Larry Page returned as Google's chief executive after a decade's repast. In his first year back on the job, Google has dramatically changed. I planned to write a massive reflective story, but thought it'd be better if you did. A story with your assessment of Page and Google will be more interesting, and revealing, about the company and perceptions about it. I'll collect your comments here and put them together into a follow-up post. To get you started, I'll do a quickie review of Google over the last 12 months and call out a few highlights.
At the start of 2011, I called it the "year of Google", and it was. Much credit belongs to Page as he axed services not core to the Google lifestyle, acquired Motorola Mobility and refocused the company on rapid iteration. Just look how far Android and Chrome advanced over the last 12 months or how quickly Google+ went from conception to 100 million-plus users. If 2011 wasn't the year of Larry Page, 2012 will be. But will you like it, or what he has done to Google?
Below I've gathered some Google highlights to remind you what a year it has been. The list is by no means inclusive, but covers a wide range of events.
- Acer and Samsung Chromebooks go up for sale.
- Google+ debutes as invite-only social network.
- Google defends its monopoly position, in response to a Federal Trade Commission investigation. Many of the arguments remind of Microsoft in the late 1990s.
- Google releases first tools that allow users to extract their data from its services, in an affront to Facebook.
- Google+ reaches 20 million users.
- Google Labs closes.
- Logitech loses $30 million on Google TV. Cuts price of Revue set-top box to $99 and takes massive charge.
- Google buys Motorola Mobility.
- Justice Department finds Google knowingly permitted Canadian pharmacies to peddle cheap drugs through AdWords. The search giant is fined $500 million.
- Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt testifies before Congress. Legislators are concerned about the search giant's monopoly position.
- Los Angeles seeks refund on $7.25 million Google Apps deal.
- Google unveils "Ice Cream Sandwich" Android 4 and Galaxy Nexus smartphone.
- Logitech abandons Google TV.
- Google Music launches. Stream music anywhere, as long as you're willing to upload tracks first.
- Schmidt says Google will release branded tablet within six months.
- Google "Currents" e-zine launches. It's slow and buggy.
- Google Nexus arrives in the United States, finally, on Verizon.
- Google reduces Chrome page rank after video ads violate terms of service.
- Google Plus Your World launches. The personalized, social search function raises antitrust concerns, in part because of Google's aggressive, cross-integration of features.
- Electronic Privacy Information Center urges the FTC to investigate Google privacy violations.
- Chrome loses usage share after 11 straight months of gains, after Google reduces the browser's page rank.
- Google+ tops 100 million users.
- Chrome for Android 4.x enters beta.
- Google bypasses Safari privacy settings, setting off more controversy about "doing evil".
- Google adds collaboration to Docs for Android -- a feature that should have been there from the start.
- FTC asks Apple to provide information about Google services integration into iOS.
- Google Go programming language reaches version 1.
One reason I chose not to write a retrospective today is this analysis from last week, which more or less is one looking at the increased cross-integration of products and services since Page returned as CEO.
So how would you rate Page's first year? At the least, please use a 1-to-5 scale, with the higher number being more satisfactorily. Better: Offer your quick assessment of Google and what it means to you -- or doesn't -- and, of course, Larry Page.