Google gives virtual tour of the garage where the firm was founded

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Google is giving users the chance to look round the garage where it first began. 

In honor of the company’s 20th birthday, the search giant posted a Google Street View tour of the Menlo Park, California garage where it all began in 1998. 

The firm painstakingly recreated the space down to every last detail – and included a secret room filled with classic Google memorabilia.

and use your mouse below to explore the garage

The garage that served as Google’s first headquarters was owned by none other than YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki. 

It was there that Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page laid the foundations for what would later become one of Silicon Valley’s foremost tech behemoths.

‘To celebrate Google’s 20th birthday, today we invite you to travel back in time and take a virtual stroll through the original Google Garage in Street View – (almost) like it was 20 years ago,’ the firm wrote in a blog post. 

After proceeding through the garage door, users are greeted by a slightly messy room complete with a retro ‘CRT’ monitor showing a vintage Google search bar.

The firm notes in a blog post that Brin and Page were particularly ecstatic that a washing machine and dryer were included in their rent.  

Down the hall is the ‘main office’ where a whiteboard says ‘Google’s Worldwide Headquarters’ scrawled in black lettering. 

There’s an array of desks with old school computers, including one with a cheeky Post-It note that says ‘User first!’ 

‘As the team grew to six people, they expanded their workspaces into three small bedrooms on the ground floor,’ Google noted in a blog post. 

Among the Google artifacts, users can find a collapsible mini rainbow sphere, a surf-frog terrarium, a dinosaur, a ping pong table and a piano keyboard, the firm said.

Another whiteboard shows different versions of Google’s now-ubiquitous logo, while a jersey with Brin’s name on the back is draped over a desk chair. 

Google famously removed the exclamation mark from its logo in 1999, when it revamped the typeface and other elements from its wordmark. 

It wouldn’t change the logo again until 2015, when it introduced a sans serif version.  

The firm hid a smattering of ‘Easter eggs’ throughout the virtual tour that can be revealed with a bit of tinkering. 

After users turn on a neon Google light, it reveals some classic Google memorabilia, such as two pairs of prototype glasses lying on a table in the garage, likely in reference to the firm’s Google Glass project. 

Colorful bikes that are now used on Google’s Mountain View campus can be seen scattered throughout the rooms. 

The firm based this virtual tour off of real footage of the office that was captured by ‘Harry, Google’s sixth employee,’ Google said. 

Google’s history dates back to 1995 at Stanford University in Stanford, California after prospective graduate school student Larry Page met Sergey Brin, a student at the college assigned to show him around.

After becoming friends, both Page and Brin developed a search engine from their dorm rooms known as Backrub in 1996 designed to improve online search by using links to determine the importance of website pages.

After being renamed Google shortly thereafter, Sun Microsystems cofounder Andy Bechtolsheim contributed $100,000 (£75,952) towards the startup in August 1998, helping Page and Brin officially incorporate Google on September 4, 1998.

The new investment in the fledgling company allowed Page and Brin to move to a new location and work out of a garage in Menlo Park, California owned by employee and future YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki.

Google grew rapidly in its early years and eventually settled on a new headquarters in Mountain View, California in 2003. 

The company launched its initial public offering on NASDAQ in August 2004 and soon rolled out a number of new services over the years, including Google News in 2002, Gmail in 2004, Google Maps in 2005 and Google Chrome in 2008.

The company also launched its mobile operating system Google Android in 2008 and later branched out into social media, establishing the online social network Google+ in 2011.

In October 2015, it became the main subsidiary of the new holding company Alphabet Inc.

Today, Google is the world’s largest search engine and employs roughly 80,050 people as of 2018 while boasting revenues of about $110.9 billion (£84.2b) as of 2017.

Also as part of its 20th birthday, Google released a revamped version of its search engine. 

The updates bring a news feed to its Google Search app, as well as new tools to help users revisit old searches and organize links and webpages.  

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