Don’t be ugly: The web giant wants to be known for beauty as well as brains

This time last year investors were salivating over Apple’s stock. Now they are rushing to get their hands on Google’s. On March 5th the internet firm’s share price, which has risen by almost a fifth since the start of the year, leapt past $800 for the first time. Google’s market capitalisation, which hit $274 billion on March 6th, is now around two-thirds of Apple’s, up from around one-third six months ago.Google’s attraction is not hard to fathom. It is minting money from its vast online-advertising empire. It is also spreading further into big new markets like online shopping. Its Android mobile operating system is winning millions of new customers. Android-powered smartphones and tablet computers have conquered numerous markets, including China’s, where a government report recently voiced concern that Google has too much influence over the country’s mobile industry.

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