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I'm really confused why they wouldn't chose to incorporate a "new Google", and split out all its other ventures, future and existing, as subsidiaries, rather than make a new brand and relegate their previously mainone to subsidiary status, with its own sub-subsidiaries.

Legal issues, I presume? Or are Brin and Page just having identity crises?

I don't think anyone will care if they see "Foobar, an Alphabet company" in the same way they would if it was Google, in any case.

Are there any prominent ventures (aside from YouTube) that aren't being spun out?

The self-driving cars appear to be staying with Google for now.

It would also have been nice to see Drive/Docs/Mail split off from Search/Advertising, but that's definitely a pie in the sky dream on my part ;)

I believe self-driving cars are part of Google X, which is now a separate division from Google.

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