I’m no Mark Twain, but reports of Google’s demise are greatly exaggerated.
Today Tim Berners-Lee pointed me to this headline in the Times Online: “Google could be superseded, says web inventor.” This, in turn, has morphed into more ominous restatements in the blogosphere, including “Berners Lee predicts future eclipse of Google.”
I spoke with Tim about the interview. Tim was asked “What will be the killer app of the Semantic Web?” A part of his reply was that text search is not necessarily the killer app for the Web of data. That is, while text search is important when searching among a Web of documents, there are other forms of query more suited to a Web of data (cf. W3C’s SPARQL Recommendation). The comment seems to have been seriously distorted on its way to a headline.
Because of the importance of vendor-neutrality to his role as W3C Director, Tim does not go about publicly predicting the demise of this or that company. In fact, Tim made clear to the reporter that he does not make statements about specific companies. Thus, reading “Google” in the headline came as a big surprise.
If next week you read that Tim has predicted the demise of a different company, please check back here.