The New York Times writes:
Propelled by Google envy, new players and Internet industry giants are rushing into the online search market, setting off a burst of activity that contrasts sharply with the lull after the dot-com collapse.
despite its push into new areas, some experts say that Google may be vulnerable because the search market, one of the Internet’s most profitable areas, will increasingly be shaped by brand and other nontechnology factors. And that shift may play to the advantage of larger competitors like Microsoft and Yahoo.
Ultimately, Google may have the most to fear from Microsoft, which could well use its Windows monopoly to dominate search functions. Such concerns have, in turn, caused Google to enter Microsoft’s domain with Google Desktop.
For Microsoft, providing better access to information stored on a personal computer’s hard disk has been a goal for more than a decade. Microsoft has said publicly it will soon offer a better search function for PC’s. There is also widespread speculation in the industry that Microsoft intends to integrate its PC search functions with a Web search engine to combat Google.
At the Web 2.0 conference, much of the discussion centered on the next phase of Internet uses, described as D-to-D, or device-to-device, which would direct communications between computers, rather than between computers and human Web users.
Future competition for domination of the Internet may also mean refighting the battles of the past – in particular, the Web browser wars. There have been reports that Microsoft’s control of the browser market may be loosening. America Online, for example, is thought to be preparing to re-enter the market with a new browser.
Google is also rumored to be developing a Web browser as part of its strategy to defend itself against Microsoft, whose new Web search service will almost certainly be integrated into Internet Explorer.