Making predictions for the Internet is very risky. John Battelle on his blog has made some interesting screenings.
We do not dare to make our own predictions, but we do dare to comment on some of the issues that may be on the agenda for 2005, based on their forecasts.
- Search engines: battle Microsoft (MSN) - Google. The appearance of Firefox - which according to Battelle could reach up to a 15% share of the browser market, will cause a more powerful version of Microsoft Office throughout this year that effectively incorporates and integrates its search technology ... (a topic that also points out Battelle). Most experts believe that the battle will continue but no one dares to forecast clearly. At the end of 2004, MIT, in its Technology Review, recalls the importance of controlling standards in this battle and Microsoft's privileged position on this issue. It is not bad to remember him in a few moments in which the reign of his competitor is lived; 2004 has undoubtedly been “the year of Google”.
- The world of blogs and Google: the blogosphere. Talking about weblogs is as much as talking about the network and its synergistic movements. From this philosophy, it is to be expected that Google will promote and lead this sector with Blogger, which in 2004 has had some unexpected and unexpected advances. On the contrary, one should not be very optimistic about the degree of response that the traditional media can give to this phenomenon. During 2005, especially in the Hispanic world, it is to be expected that blogs will continue to be considered an anecdotal or sporadic element, even despite the foreseeable appearance of high quality initiatives. In fact, the world of blogs is such a “heterogeneous ecosystem” and it comes “from below” that its perception and understanding is difficult from the traditional media model. In the international arena, the Google - Blogger pairing may cause other significant movements in the sector. According to Battelle, companies like Yahoo, AOL, Adobe or Macromedia could turn to initiatives like “Six Apart” to set up projects similar to Google's with Blogger.
- Income on the Internet. Despite the encouraging signs that we have witnessed through certain companies during 2004, we are in a context where progress is being made on a trend. Don't expect sharp jumps. The market will continue to give good results for a very small number of international companies that have patiently positioned themselves and are consolidating their position (the best known: Google, Ebay, Amazon…). Do not expect miracles, or sudden jumps. The maturity of the netizens, the number and age of these, the speed of the network, the government incentives, are relevant factors that will shape the future of the sector within the expansive trend that we have been observing.
- The network is still alive and expanding. While it is anticipated that some sites they still give surprises in the Anglo-Saxon world, it is difficult to make forecasts in the Hispanic world. During 2005, Spain should become aware of the importance of the network and its potential role in culture, education and science. So far this gap has been well resolved with successful private initiatives, which should have broad government backing and active supportive policies. As has happened with some Asian countries - Korea, China ... - it is foreseeable that countries such as Mexico and Brazil will begin a much more accelerated expansion, taking advantage of the high economic growth of the area at present and its demographic importance (three hundred million inhabitants between the two countries).
- Markets and local information. It is noted that during 2005 both Google and Yahoo will delve into local information by combining commercial information with search information. In this way, merchants will have the opportunity to use these searches as a direct sales channel on the Internet. Battelle points out that by the end of 2005 there will be no question whether search companies constitute direct competition for companies specializing in e-commerce.
Battelle points out some more topics that we collect in summary form:
- Companies with greater economies of scale (eBay, Amazon ...) will also drive some relevant innovation in relation to search technologies.
- In 2005 China will become a "hot topic" for search companies. Defining China in itself will be one of the biggest tasks this year.
- By the end of 2005, there will be no question that the search industry is a media business and that the top companies in the search industry are the top companies in the content business.
- Finally, something important is expected to happen with Tivo. Although there is hope of sale to Apple, perhaps it is more likely with Comcast or DirecTv.
- Google will introduce video search (in beta). And it will be rumored that Apple will launch its video iPod although we will have to wait more. But this year will mark the traction of video on the IP market and its connection to search.
- The mobile phone will also be affected by innovations in the search concept.
- John Battelle (personal information).