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Google launches Internet Bus in Tamil Nadu

Chennai, (February 3, 2009) -- Google India today launched an Internet Bus™ – a mobile bus designed to provide an Internet experience to the people across the cities of Tamil Nadu. Through this campaign Google is aiming to reach out to people with limited knowledge and exposure to the Internet. The bus will cover 15 towns over a period of one and a half months.

With a focus on four themes – information, communication, entertainment and education, the ‘Internet Bus’ will have useful and informative content in English and Tamil to give the users an understanding of how the Internet can be used for all of these needs. In addition to basic familiarization on using services like search, email, social networking, online maps and others the bus will showcase how the Internet can make everyday life simple.

“We are passionate about empowering users with information and the Internet democratizes access to information. With this initiative we want to take the power of this medium to people who will really benefit from it. We believe that if we can get people to experience the Internet even briefly they will find the means to go back again,” said Dr. Prasad Ram, Head of Google R&D, India. "India needs more of such efforts. It is the collective responsibility of the government, the industry and academia to solve the challenges around access, costs and content. Once this is done, the possibilities of use are limitless," added Dr. Ram.

The bus is designed to make the introduction to the Internet simple for a user. The message will be shared through interesting videos that talk about how people are using the Internet for varied reasons and activities – grandparents using email and video sites to interact with children and grandchildren in another city; a student from a small city using search to find information that is not otherwise physically accessible; a local music group using YouTube to share their talent with the world; a small entrepreneur using the Internet to expand his reach and revenues. The Internet Bus will also address the challenge around access and language for a lot of users in smaller cities by educating them on how they can access the Internet on their mobiles and use various Google tools to break the language barrier. Users across India will be able to follow the bus through its journey, see pictures and videos and join online communities by simply visiting http://www.google.co.in/internetbus.

This initiative is aligned with Google’s overall strategy of organizing the world’s information and making it universally accessible and useful. In India, Google has been making a significant effort to make the Internet more relevant and accessible to the Indian user. Search has become more local with useful information like business listings, railways and flight status, cricket scores, movie reviews and more. Google has launched products like Google SMS Search™, SMS Channels, Google Voice Local Search™ service, and Google Map Maker™, and has localized many popular Google applications. It has been overcoming language barriers by offering transliteration in 5 Indian languages, Google News™ news service in 4 Indian languages, machine translation for English-to-Hindi (bidirectional), and soft keyboards for a vast majority of Indian languages. Access to information over mobile devices has become easier with mobile maps, mobile search, and mobile orkut™. Google has also created platforms like the Be NetSmart campaign aimed at students, parents and teachers to educate them on Internet safety.

About Google Inc.

Google’s innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today is a top web property in all major global markets. Google’s targeted advertising program provides businesses of all sizes with measurable results, while enhancing the overall web experience for users. Google is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. For more information, visit www.google.com.

* Internet Bus™, Google SMS Search™, Google Voice Local Search™, Google Map Maker™, Google News™, orkut™ are trademarks of Google Inc. All other company and product names may be trademarks of the companies with which they are associated.

Media Contacts

Roli Agarwal
Communications & Public Affairs Manager
Google India
roli@google.com

Aman Abbas
Account Director
20:20 MEDIA
aman@2020india.com
09810341899