18th August, 2009, in Baidu Technology Innovation Conference, Robin Li, CEO of Baidu.com announced its new concept (and platform) called “Box Computing” which reported by Chinese media and commented by experts: A Breakthrough in Chinese Internet industry; The technology which will lead Chinese web industry in near future.
What is Box Computing
“It’s all about the Search Box”, Robin says. “simple but could be unlimitedly powerful.” Users can ask for anything they need, no matter it’s a web page, or game, or online shopping, even virus-scanning and so on by using the search box. Baidu identifies the search requirements, connect to relevant service running in its backend (and probably in third party), retrieve the result and return it to user. The architecture of Box Computing is unveiled on its official site:
Box Computing vs. Cloud Computing
Is Box Computing a competitive technology against Cloud Computing? I need more time to understand both in details, but it seems for me that Cloud Computing focus more on the back end, i.e. the infrastructure of the services, the scalable computing etc, but Box Computing more concerns about the front end, i.e. the requirements from the users and how to meet the requirements.
What Excited Me
Almost none of Chinese web company really concerns about Technology or is confident enough to say, I am going to lead the technology. What excited me is that Baidu finally stands out to confirm that Baidu is the technology-driven company. I love the idea of Box Computing along with its core part Alading Open Platform which was announced in December 2008. In Alading open platform, the third party is allowed to submit its own service together with its structured data (such as Calendar, Table of Italian Serie A league etc) to Baidu’s search engine. With the open architecture, Baidu shows its ambition to become a technology leader which is hardly seen in China web.
What Confused Me
Box Computing, from the 1st second it’s announced, compliments are all over the Chinese main-stream media and feedback are tremendously good. I thumb up to Baidu because there is no doubt Box Computing and its Alading open platform might cause the change of Chinese Internet industry. But, is it really and completely new and will Baidu potentially become the leader of Internet technology just because of the Box? Is it something Google and some other search engines have been trying to achieve for a longer while? I am confused.
Well, we will see in next 1 or 2 years.
It seems that Baidu is opening its search results field again to 3rd party content providers — last opening is auctioning off some real estate in its search result field. What is untold by Baidu is how they will deal with different content providers, simply based on algorithms or based on bids?
I hope it's based on algorithms, but I guess the bids will be one of the key factors in the algorithms.
I think algorithms or bids really matters a lot for small players who want to participate in as 3rd party content providers, or as application authors in this Box Computing. Bids may mean extra factors like money and relations weigh in, not only content quality. However, this case may not be necessary a bad thing in today's Chinese market. Just think about the different commercial and social achievements of open source community and “Microsoft Community”. More investment sometimes means more input of hard and intelligent work.
Thanks for the interesting article brother thanks for sharing
Alading is sort of like what Yahoo has been doing with Search Monkey that gives developers a reason to annotate their unstructured data and supply structural data.Box is putting up a pretty UI to query such data.It isn't that revolutionary. But at least Baidu sets a good example in China.
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