Search Wars: Forget Bing, Google Has More to Worry About from Twitter

CARLSBAD, CALIF. -- Microsoft's Bing may be an improvement in search, but short of anticipating queries and "hitching up to my synapses" it's probably not enough to get people to change their habits, says Paul Kedrosky, senior research adviser at Ten Asset Management.

Microsoft and anyone else trying to unseat industry titan Google (including my employer) face a simple but daunting problem, Kedrosky says: "You're trying to replace a product people are reasonably happy with, with something where it's not clear what the quantum improvement is."

This challenge is made even tougher because it's hard to compete on price, considering search is free.

But while Kedrosky says Google doesn't have much to worry about from its big rivals, real-time search could upset the current paradigm.

"Live data pouring in on a real-time basis - a fire hose of data," is both compelling for users and a "very different thing architecturally" from how search is currently structured, he says in the accompanying video, taped Thursday at the AllThingsD conference. As a result, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo are going to have "redirect the [search] aircraft carrier to make it do things nimbler [and] faster," he says, even as smaller players can focus entirely on real-time search.

Real-time search is one of the great promises of Twitter, according to many, and a big reason why Kedrosky believes the firm isn't likely to be independent much beyond next year.


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