What of the future of search? Albert Wenger of Union Square Ventures went out on a limb at the DLD13 conference to predict that Google will not be able to retain such a dominant market share, and pointed out that Microsoft already has a 15 per cent share of the US search market with Bing.
Being default search provider on many Windows 8 machines is a factor in that: “Google is losing the OEM [original equipment manufacturers, companies who buy in components from others] search deal,” he said. “Search is so big that Google cannot retain that market share. It makes sense for Microsoft to retain its share, even if it is slow growing. It’s a sensible place they have to go.”
In mobile search a critical growth area does Google need to screw up for another player to get a look in? “Head-on competition with Google will be hard, but something smart will peel off the side,” said Wenger, referring to tracking-free search site DuckDuckGo.
“One of the things that has changed on the Internet in the last few years are the pools of knowledge like StackExchange, Yelp and Foursquare. That’s knowledge around specialist domains, and DuckDuckGo is partnering with those pools. Unlike Google, DuckDuckGo has no competitive properties,” he added. Is voice search really going to catch on, or is it some sort of consensual hallucination by the tech industry? Rockmelt’s head of business development Philip Inghelbrecht said Google is on a three-year mission to change how consumers search.
“I think they will succeed in that,” Inghelbrecht added. “What comes next? Step out of the paradigm of search as we know it before I start driving my car knows [from my calendar] I am on my way to San Francisco, gives me the route and updates my wife to tell her when I will be home so I don’t have to phone her. Combine that with voice and that is really one step ahead.”
In television and particularly smart television search is being held up by incumbent TV companies, contended tech blogger Henry Blodget. “Everybody wants a search interface on TV that just gives you what you want when you want it. Can anybody do anything about those greedy cable companies?” Blodget said.
— Guardian News and Media Ltd