Google has a new parent company, Alphabet. But what exactly does Google Alphabet mean for you? Find out in our Google Alphabet FAQ.
What is Alphabet? Is Google dead?
What's the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word Google? Most likely, you'll visualise the search engine that pops up as your browser's home page. That's not surprising, given that Google was born in 1998 as a research tool that brought order to the huge amount of information available on the web, making it easier to find specific data.
But Google is much more than a search engine company, and Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page's dreams are bigger than the web. They want to expand their views, invest in research, bring about new inventions and contribute to human progress.
Is their dream too ambitious? Perhaps.
Above all, Google is usually associated with search. Many investors and customers might wonder why a search engine is interested in making smart contact lenses, for example.
However, with the creation of a new umbrella company, Alphabet, Brin and Page's dream might become true.
Rather than Google owning lots of little companies that have little in common with each other, a slimmed down Google will sit alongside those companies as a wholly owned subsidiary of new parent company Alphabet. Alphabet will be headed up by Brin and Page, as President and CEO respectively, while Sundar Pichai will take over as CEO of Google.
Alphabet will gather innovative ventures that focus on development and new technologies. The companies will finally be free from Google's search stigma, and the co-founders will be able to manage more effectively the disparate areas.
What will Alphabet do?
Alphabet is going to allow Google's co-founders to realise their ambitions. Page and Brin want to explore innovative sectors, leaving a mark in human history, and Alphabet will be their control tower.
The company will host a constellation of ventures, whose focus spans from lenses to drones. All will share a common goal: to improve our lives.
How can Alphabet improve our lives?
Self-driving cars: Google's autonomous vehicles are still being tested. When available, they are expected to be fundamental in reducing traffic- and car accidents.
Delivery-drones for disaster relief: Google is testing autonomous aerial vehicles. The so-called Project Wing aims at developing drones that could deliver goods, such as medicines, in areas hit by war or natural disasters.
Robots: Through the sub-company Boston Dynamic, Alphabet plans to develop cutting-edge robots.
Life extension: Created by Google in 2013, Calico is Google's Life Extension Project. It is aimed at combating age-related diseases, such as cancer and neurodegeneration, and investing in drug development and innovative therapies.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.