It's amazing just how much of what Google does is based on open standards. Even if they retain control over the technology, as they do for GWT or Android, their work is usually open-source and free. It's really evident at this year's Google I/O Conference.
As an example, the first half of the keynote on Tuesday was about the rise of HTML 5. That's not a technology that Google owns or controls; but they profit from its use, since many of the improvements in HTML make the web use more semantic text instead of images or Flash objects (think web fonts, the video and canvas tags).
The first big announcement was an expected one: that Google is making On2's video technology available to everyone as a royalty-free format. Some think it has the same combination of compression with good quality as H.264. The second announcement was that Google is making some web fonts available royalty-free. Both of these are a huge step for the web-- and both will profit Google in the long run.