it has long been argued that the google os, particularly MapReduce and GFS, is google’s real competitive strength. yahoo, meanwhile, is paying developers to develop clones of these. with seeming consolidation on a common computing platform, and ever-rising data center expenses, you gotta wonder how much sense it makes for the big three to duplicate all that CAPEX. they might be better off outsourcing their datacenters, and sharing some base datasets, such as a crawler cache (kinda like the feedmesh network).
the outsourced company, on the other hand, would end up running a grid with several million nodes and could optimize running costs overall, by using very low power servers, running on an opensourced processor architecture.