Google is under attack from a lot of different directions.
Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks are collecting data about users and their relationships that Google doesn’t have. The smartphone explosion means that more people are getting info from apps, which could drive them away from Google’s Web services.
But Google does have one big edge: its data centres are the most numerous, most advanced, and most efficient in the world. That means that Google can deliver online services at massive scale and lightning-quick speed, even as the total number of Internet users explodes thanks to smartphones.
This chart, which was compiled by Accenture, shows Google’s total capex spend by quarter since 2004. Not all of this money is going to build new data centres, but a lot of it is. After a brief gap during the recession, Google is spending more than ever before. Smaller companies like Facebook can’t come close.
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