Google Operating System has an interesting post called "winning even when you lose" where they discuss how Google spurs change in industries regardless of if it loses the apparent arms race. The few examples given, of which there are likely many more, are:
Email - 2004 - Gmail launches with 1GB of free storage compared to Yahoo's 4MB of free storage. In response, Yahoo grew to 100MB, then 1GB a year later, and finally, is now uncapped, while Google is only at 6GB for free (although it's growing at all times)
Instant Messaging - 2005 - Google Talk launches as an open standards chat program meant to exchange IMs with all open IM clients (although at the time that meant none of the big 3 competitors - AIM, Y! Messenger, or MSN Messenger). In response Yahoo and Microsoft teamed up to link their IM services later that year.
Mobile Phones - 2007 - Google announced that it would bid for the 700MHz spectrum in the US, declaring four conditions of open applications and devices. Later that year Verizon Wireless finally announces that it will open its wireless network to 3rd party devices and software.
Social Networks - 2007 - Google launches OpenSocial, an open widget application platform, and a month later Facebook announces it will open it's widget application platform for use on other social networks.