Right now, we’re in a very interesting period, in which a couple of companies are accumulating enough assets (and I don’t mean financial assets, though they are doing that too) that they have a plausible chance of building a comprehensive platform of their own. So we have to persuade those companies that it’s in their interest to continue to cooperate with other companies, and not to go the one ring route (Google is trying to go this route, fighting the tendency to one-ring thinking, though often losing, while Apple seems to be embracing it as a goal).
One way to do this is to identify the various points of control, who owns the various subsystems, and build services that rely on multiple providers rather than just one. And frankly, it’s working out pretty well. Facebook is getting a good hold on identity services (with LinkedIn doing a great job on the professional side); Google has their dominance in search, and is getting there in location, and is ahead of the curve on speech (though if Nuance gets their internet act together that could change); payment is up for grabs; Amazon set off an arms race at the cloud infrastructure level … In short, there’s lots and lots of competition.
Overall, there’s lots to be happy about. When the industry is competitive, as it is now, and there’s lots of money to be made, as there is now, we see lots of innovation. So I’m actually pretty sanguine about where things are going.
source: Wired Magazine