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5.0 out of 5 stars The power of Search: a boundless potential, 9 May 2006
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This review is from: The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture (Hardcover)
When a brilliant journalist writes about a contemporary and lava hot topic like Search-simply consider that Google which epitomizes Search experienced the phenomenal growth of 0 to $3 billion in the short time span of five years 2000-2004 -the result is a riveting book.

There are similarities and parallels between the founders of Google and the founder of Microsoft. In both instances they are dropouts of elite universities in order to found companies and pursue their vision. In the case of Bill Gates the founder of Microsoft, the epiphany was the power of software. In the case of Larry Page and Sergey Brin the founders of Google, the driving insight was the power of Search.

The object of Search is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.

The author's treatment is balanced in that while he shows that the present Search is already enormous and its future virtually unlimited he also points to its ominous consequences such as the infringement on privacy.

To show what the future for Search reserves, a comparison with Micrososft would suffice:

The audacious goal of Bill Gates and Micropsoft was of a computer on every desk, and Microsoft products running on every computer. A goal achieved within twenty years and in the process rendering Bill Gates fabulously rich and Microsoft a stellar world company.

Let us consider Google's audacious goal:to organize information and make it accessible. Forget about a computer on every desk. The entire world needs to become computerized. Anything of value will be in Google's index. We have to visualize the merging of the physical world with the World Wide Web.

Microsoft's success was driving a computer to every desk with Windows on every computer. The next step in the evolution of the computer was the connection of every computer to every other-the Internet. But what comes after that?

According to the cognoscenti, the web is in the process of becoming the next great computing platform-the successor to Microsoft Windows, owned by no one but used by everyone. The web is also in the process of connecting to everything, just name it. The companies best positioned to deliver hugely scaled services over the web platform are best positioned to win. And when it comes to hugely scaled services nothing beats Search.

Google's mission of organizing information and making it accessible sets the company up to deliver nothing short of every possible service that might live on top of a computing platform:the Google grid.

We can conceive in our digital future Google as phone company; as cable provider; as university; as eBay, Amazon, Microsoft, Expedia, and Yahoo all folded in one. Fascinating, beguiling and awe inspiring!
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