The Intensifying "Architecture War" in Digital Searches

David Bollier points us to a great article on impending search engine wars between Google, Microsoft, and others:

Check out Charles H. Ferguson's article, "What's Next for Google?" in the January 2005 issue of Technology Review. Rarely has the struggle over proprietary technical standards in the digital world -- and the implications for the public – been explained with such clarity... The winner of this battle – Google? Yahoo?Microsoft? – is likely to become the dominant corporation in the new Internet world and a colossus of American capitalism.

Ferguson points out a little-known fact about wars over technical standards: "Architectural dominance mints money; and managed properly, it lasts forever. IBM’s mainframe architecture was introduced in 1964; Intel developed its first microprocessor in 1971; Microsoft’s first operating system was introduced in 1981; Cisco Systems marketed its first router in 1986. None shows any signs of disappearing, and each has already generated hundreds of billions of dollars in cumulative revenues.”