Paul Graham wrote an interesting piece a few days ago about the “death of Microsoft”. Not death in the sense that Nietzsche proclaimed to God, but in the sense Microsoft “killed” IBM. IBM remained (and remains) a strong company through the Microsoft era, but they were no longer ruling the IT industry. The same is true of Microsoft now, but Google holds the throne.
This begs the question: Who will kill Google?
As that question is probably impossible to answer, an easier version is: What will kill Google?
We can say that each of the three previous kings represents an era in IT:
- IBM: The mainframe era
- Microsoft: The desktop era
- Google: The web era
What is the next era? Will it have to do with the semantic web, i.e. “The data era”? Will it have to do with P2P, i.e. “The distributed computing era”? Or maybe the exact opposite – characterized by massive central data storage and computing, i.e. “The massive data center era”?
What other candidates are out there? And who is likely to grab the throne in each scenario?