Yahoo! and Microsoft are building research labs to do research in Search to compete against Google. As pointed out in this article the real fight is not about Search but about Advertisements:
Instead, the real opportunities come from getting more effective ads in front of users. The so-called â€œmonetization of searchâ€? is what this arms race is all about.
It is important to understand that Google transformed Search to Advertisements and is really trying to be a New Media company. Understanding user intent and using it to monetize is the basic goal, search happens to be a way to bring them to site.
To me , it leaves an very important question unanswered . Are we really going to be using laptops and desktops as our primary computing devices 10 yrs into the future ?
The way I see it , it all filtering down to the device we have on our body (or atleast close to ..) most of the time : the cellphone . Are Ad’s going to be the same on this medium too ? I doubt it. Google patenting the “click to call” is a good indication of things to come in this domain. I wonder how search and its related buisness model ie.”Money thru Ad’s ” is going to evolve !
What if through their research efforts, Yahoo or Microsoft solve the semantic problem associated with search. As a result, either could quickly alter the way in which companies advertise online. Specifically, what if a company did not have to buy keywords, but rather purchased a users thoughts? Would this disrupt the Google model? Food for thought.
Most people agree with you and believe that the next and most important frontier is the mobile phone. ANd there is a big ‘war’ brewing there. A great example is the rise of video on phones.
I personally believe that phones are the next major revolution in computers (after main frames came PC and now it will be phones) that will bring novel apps and revolutionize computing.