By Max Clarke

Google apps are the tool of choice for 61 of the United States’ top 100 universities, the search giant boasted in its latest blog; testament to the growing size and popularity of their offerings.

Since its origins in 1998, Google Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG) has spread beyond its Page-rank algorithm search engine, to offer a dizzying array of web products and cloud solutions. Google's products stem predominately from innovation, but have also come from series of high profile acquisitions- having recently purchased the Zagat restaurant guide- and even good old-fashioned imitation- as their URL shortener evidences.

World-leading learning institutions, including Yale, Brown, Vanderbilt and Rutgers Universities, all use Google Apps for Education. The online package offers greater online collaboration between academics and students on campus and marks the broader move by institutions and business to embrace cloud technologies.

“These 61 schools represent just a small portion of the 14 million students, faculty and staff now using Google Apps for Education,” writes Tom Mills, Google’s Director of Education. “All over the world, Google Apps is helping schools offer their communities a better way of working together, and we’re honored to be a part of this new tradition.”

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