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Having sewn up the online search market—nearly two-thirds of all searches are now done on
Google—the site set its sights on other arenas to conquer in 2007: like online video, where it is
already well on its way. Thanks to its takeover of YouTube—and notwithstanding that billion
dollar Viacom lawsuit—a full quarter of videos viewed online come from Google. That's more
than old media titans Fox, Viacom, Disney, and Time Warner deliver online combined. Next up
is mobile, which is where everyone believes the next ad boom will happen. (If we only knew
when.) Google's mobile plans turned out to be much more ambitious than even the mythical
Gphone as the company announced plans to take part in the FCC's auction of available wireless
spectrum and unveiled an open wireless platform, Android, backed by a consortium of cellphone
makers. The company also drew down on Wikipedia by announcing The Knol, a competitor
that—like so many of Google's products, including its search engine—aims to take
something others have done and just do it better. On that theme, Google acquired Twitter competitor
Jaiku and launched OpenSocial, a suite of programming tools that will allow developers
to launch Facebook-style apps across several social networks. All of this would seem fairly ominous,
of course, if the company's tools—from Gmail to Google Maps to you name it—didn't
work so well.With a focus on functionality and smart, austere design, Google has taken on the
geek chic aura once enjoyed exclusively by Apple and paired it with overwhelming market
share, a formula that drove online ad revenues past $16 billion last year.