Who will bury Google and Microsoft? We probably don't know...yet

Who will bury Google? We won't know until it's happened.

Larry Dignan asks a potent question: Which startup will topple the giants of today, Microsoft and Google?

As I've written, I believe Google will cut Microsoft off from its future , leaving it to dwindle into its past. It will take some time (Microsoft has more cash than the US federal government), but Microsoft's every effort to become relevant in tomorrow's most important markets have met with resistance and, ultimately, futility. Google is the death of Microsoft on the web.

But what about Google? I had suggested that mobile may be the answer, but in reality I suspect Google has several more years of dominance. We won't know who will challenge it until it's at the very height of its hubris, just as with Microsoft. It's when we're strongest that the cracks start to show.

Larry is rightly digging around for the source of Google's downfall, but I think it's a pointless errand at this point. We'll yet see Google extend its dominance in search to another adjacent market, just as Microsoft did with Office. It's when Google will have seemingly wrapped up the web forever that another startup will be born to topple it, with Google's insistence on doing things the way it always has sowing the seeds of dissatisfaction that will power this new startup.

My own bet? Instead of search, the next big winner will be the one that focuses on "found." Google is all about someone proactively going out to look for what they want, and often finding it. But I think the real future is a product that lets us dictate what we want, and then passively sit back while interest flocks to us. Think RSS. Then extend the idea to commerce.

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About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.

     

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