The Google logo is spelled out in heliostats (mirrors that track the sun and reflect the sunlight onto a central receiving point) during a tour of the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in the Mojave Desert near the California-Nevada border February / REUTERS/Steve Marcus

More experiments, a new boss and some complicated corporate rejigging — but all the Google products you know and love will stay the same

Google has a new name and the company has been massively shaken up. But it's likely that not all that much will change under the new Alphabet — Google Search will still have the same name, just owned by someone else. But what will actually change at the new computer.

What will change?

Alphabet could be more evil

When Google adopted its “don’t be evil” motto, it seemed fairly simple — it was only a search engine, and the slogan mostly referred to making clear that ads and normal search results were made separate. But since then the company has bought a range of new businesses, making that mission much more difficult.

By splitting off some of its other businesses, Alphabet might be able to be evil while Google isn’t. Boston Dynamics, for instance — which makes walking robots for us by the military — will now operate as a separate company.

There might be more experiments

The slightly more unusual operations will be split off into a new X Labs, which will focus as it does now on developing strange and futuristic technology. That could give it the chance to do that even more, without the scrutiny of being part of Google and funded by the extra money that Alphabet’s investment arm will be able to throw around.

So far, Google X has worked on the self-driving car, a drone delivery project, Google Glass, and the Project Loon internet balloon service.

"We've long believed that over time companies tend to get comfortable doing the same thing, just making incremental changes,” said Larry Page. “But in the technology industry, where revolutionary ideas drive the next big growth areas, you need to be a bit uncomfortable to stay relevant.”

It will get a new boss

Sundar Pichai, who has been running many of Google’s most important products already, will become the CEO of Google. Larry Page, who has the job now, will be moved up to run Alphabet.

"Sundar has been saying the things I would have said (and sometimes better!) for quite some time now, and I've been tremendously enjoying our work together,” Page wrote, introducing the new boss. “He has really stepped up since October of last year, when he took on product and engineering responsibility for our internet businesses.

"I feel very fortunate to have someone as talented as he is to run the slightly slimmed down Google and this frees up time for me to continue to scale our aspirations."

 

Shareholders will get new stock

After a long and complicated process to actually create the new company and give it ownership of Google, shareholders will get to swap all of their Google shares for Alphabet ones

The swap will be fairly straightforward — each old share will be exchanged for a new one — and the stock symbols will stay as GOOG and GOOGL.

What won’t change?

Pretty much everything: all of the products currently known as Google ones will continue to exist. Even Android and YouTube — which began as independent companies that were bought by Google and still sit slightly apart from the main company — will stay as part of the big Google.

The companies that are now owned by Alphabet rather than Google will still continue to share their knowledge with the main company, presumably. So Nest, which makes connected home products, will continue to be integrated into Google’s phones.

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