Robert Cringely from PBS (keynote speaker for PubConX in Las Vegas [pubcon.com]) has an interesting speculative piece in this week's "Pulpit" column. He asks what G plans for the $4 billion they are now raising, and feels that Google is not the challenge to Microsoft that many think.
Google plays on its technical reputation even though, if you look closely, it isn't always deserved. Many Google products haven't been revved since they were introduced. And while some Google products are excellent, some aren't, too.
Everyone has an opinion on this, and mine is that Google has NOT peaked. Maybe they have peaked in their stock price, but not as a company. They are hiring top people from other major companies and many of their upcoming products are still in Beta. One thing I like about Google is that they don't seem to rush out of Beta with a bad product. Gmail is one example. From what I see, it works great, but they are still not ready to make a full release and that it a good thing for company reputation.
I think that G may face some serious competition from MS and others if they don't attend to some of the problems they are having, such as click fraud. As slow as MS has been to roll out search services, they have had a lot of time to observe the strengths and weaknesses of G, and possibly make appropriate choices. (Arguably, MS has its own problems to deal with.)