At the Imagine 2011 at Microsoft Campus, Qi Lu, talked about the role of Twitter and Facebook remarking that the latter enables people and their context to become first class citizens of digital online experiences. Groupon as an example of the redefinition commerce on the web. He also acknowledged the consolidation of the search industry (Google and Bing) and said that search isn’t just a normal online service — it’s the gateway for consumers to access the richness of the digital cloud.
Qi also talked about the importance of a geo-spatial web – particularly on mobile devices. Again, if you relate to the physical world and we connect to people and products in a geographical manner. When I want to visit a bar, I typically want do to so with the context of where I am currently, or where I’m going. If I want to buy a car, it’s likely that I’ll be interested in doing so from a dealer near to my home. Search should know that — it does know that.
Through mapping investments, Microsoft, Google and Nokia are building a digital copy of the planet said Qi. I suspect it wasn’t lost on many that Microsoft and Nokia just combined forces on the mobile side of the house and as Qi said, every physical location will be richly digital represented in the future.