Thursday, March 16, 2006

Search to Herald the Return of the Thin Computer?

There's more buzz today about the notion of a very thin computer--that is, a computer that does little more than connect to the Internet. Greg Sterling hypothesizes about it today, and there's news that Google and Yahoo! are in the process of developing just such a thing.

This is at least the second coming of Thin Computing: the first very quickly followed the mass-market discovery of the Internet. The problem that time, of course, was trying to justify the cheap price necessary to make the idea sound. Well, search seems to have promise solving yet another problem.

Becuase, the engines have a different problem to solve: they need a consistent flow of queries. Each query isn't a revenue generator, but only a revenue-generating opportunity. The challenge all the engines face is to keep up the flow of queries (as well, of course, of the number of clicks per query). A large part of the strategy has been to increase the number of interfaces.

Can that be done by getting the number of devices up? Probably. The engine's adopted revenue model certainly introduces a number of new opportunities for growth and development, that's for sure.
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