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Google’s Internet Bus in Karnataka

Announcement
13 May, 2009

Bangalore, (May 13, 2009): Google™ India today announced that the ‘Internet Bus™’ will now tour Karnataka. Starting its journey from Bangalore the bus will travel through 15 towns in the next 50 days. This campaign is aimed at people with limited knowledge and exposure to the Internet and the experience has been designed to create awareness of the benefits of this powerful medium.

The Karnataka leg of Google’s Internet Bus will continue to focus on four themes – information, communication, entertainment and education. The video driven content will showcase how even with basic knowledge of the Internet people can make their everyday lives simpler. The content will also provide familiarization on using services like search, email, social networking, online maps and mobile. All this information will be available in English and Kannada.

"Tamil Nadu was a big learning for us and it was inspiring to see that people wanted to know about the internet and share their needs with us. This experience has reinforced our belief that awareness is the key challenge in the growth of the Internet in India and we are excited about bringing this campaign to yet another state. In this phase besides popular services like email, search and videos, we will be focusing on how mobile phones can be used to access useful local information even without data plans. Access to the Internet in local languages will continue to be a focus area," said Dr. Prasad Ram, Head of Google R&D, India.

The success of the Internet Bus in Tamil Nadu was evident from the number of interesting stories that followed each time the bus visited a city – In Krishnagiri, an elderly couple came on board the Google Internet Bus and, after experiencing Gmail, decided to buy a computer and use it to communicate with their son who was abroad. A young businessman who dropped out of high school said that "since visiting the Google Internet Bus, I have found a way to improve my knowledge of the stock market." In Coimbatore, a young boy, who sold flowers for a living and had never been exposed to the Internet managed to learn about Google Maps™, Google Earth™, and Google Search™ in Tamil, his mother tongue.

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 Local Search™, 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™ 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

Joya Ahluwalia
20:20 MEDIA