Online Information 2009, day 3

Back at Online 2009 on Thursday, to take part in the closing panel: “Cloud Computing, Open Source and Semantics: Content and Search Predictions”, moderated by Stephen Arnold. We only touched on four of the ten controversial themes Stephen had prepared: we talked a lot about how ‘Google pressure’ will affect the market, how XML isn’t necessarily the universal panacea for representing data, on the growth of rich media and the challenges it presents and finally on security. Some great questions from the floor as well, thanks to all who came and the organisers and Stephen for inviting us. I wish we’d had more time!

I didn’t agree with Stephen’s main point that Google will crush us all – I think the battles between Google and Microsoft (and Google and everyone else) are a distraction. While they’re fighting it out the rest of us can get on with developing cutting-edge search technologies. Open source search technology gives us tremendous flexibility, allows us to develop solutions very fast, allows the customer to take ownership of the system that’s being developed and now has comparable performance, scalability and commercial support to the traditional closed source world.

The real question is how this will affect the profitability of existing companies in the search space. I wonder who won’t be around at next year’s Online Information show…

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