Google has been prescient in expanding its business model well beyond its wide-moat core search platform into a sprawling series of desktop and mobile software programs and services that all funnel users back into Google's multibillion-dollar advertising engine. It's an impressive economic model, and one that's helped fuel market-beating returns for Google investors over the long term.
However, Google's shares have stalled in 2014. So is the stock a buy today?
The case for owning Google
The core idea in owning Google is its uncanny ability to expand its software and service model to the ever-expanding number of areas that technologies touch in our everyday life.
Google's first real foray into software came with its open-source Android, the archnemesis and foil to Apple's "walled garden approach." And Google figures to continue to duke it out with Apple in the years to come in emerging areas such as wearables, the smart home, and beyond. However, Google and Apple make money in very different ways, and success in these new tech paradigms doesn't have to be mutually exclusive for Apple and Google, as we've seen in the global smartphone market.
However unlike Apple, Google is grappling with one key problem as it attempts to secure its place in tech's new frontiers that will undoubtedly have major implications for Google shareholders in the years ahead. In the following video, tech and telecom specialist Andrew Tonner shares his perspective on the pros and cons of owning Google today.