Google co-founders talk search speeds, driverless cars & potential M&As

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Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin claim there is still a lot of work that needs to go into speeding up the time it takes to retrieve information from the web.

The company is now most web users' defecto means of scouring the internet for information, but the pair thinks more needs to be done to connect people to the information they need in the shortest time possible.

Speaking during a Q&A at the KV CEO Summit, Page said users should be spared from having to trawl through pages of results when they submit a query, and be connected directly to the answers they seek.

This, he admits, was one of the reasons why the firm's trademark "I'm Feeling Lucky" button was originally introduced, but it didn't work too well.

However, this is the type of scenario the company hopes will become possible as time goes on.

"I think the actual amount of knowledge you get out of your computer verses the amount of time you spend with it is still pretty bad," he said.

"So I think our job is to solve that, and most of the things we're doing make sense in that context."

During the talk the pair also shed some further light on how the firm was nearly swallowed up by some of its long-forgotten search rivals, including Lycos and Excite, during the late 1990s.

"I don't know how long I would've stayed, to be honest [if the deal with Excite had taken place]," admitted Brin.

"I don't know if it would've been a good acquisition for them... I don't know that we would've been so passionate or productive or what not," he added.

If the deal had gone ahead, the technology landscape may have looked completely different today, as Google's presence in recent years has moved way beyond search and into devices, cloud-based productivity tools and unmanned cars.

In the case of the latter, the duo also fleshed out their vision for driverless cars when asked if they were planning to build the vehicles themselves.

"I'm very excited about the technology that we're building, but it's still in its early stages. I think eventually, in the future, there might be multiple partners or companies that we work with that some of them can be manufacturers and some might be service providers," said Brin.

"Right now, we're working hard to just get the basics so the technology [is] working."

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.