There is a new search engine company that is discussed here that is planning to take on Google. They claim that they have a competitive advantage in user interaction for search because it is more user friendly. Their angle is to allow users to type actual sentences about what they are looking for instead of using keywords and boolean operators (like you do now in Google).
I am all for competition in the market, and hope Powerset does well, however, I do not think that they will be able to beat out Google in the search engine market. Google is too big, too powerful, has too many resources, and is too far entrenched in the market to be truly be booted out of the market (as Powerset is claiming they will do).
What is keeping Google from offering the same feature of allowing you to type "How old is Steve Jobs?" instead of "steve jobs age" in the Google search term entry field? With their vast resources, it is entirely possible that if Google felt threatened by this ability that their competitors have, they will offer it themselves.
In order for Powerset or any other potential competitor in this market to overthrow Google, they must have a tremendous branding strategy, marketing campaign, and broad range of phenomenal free services like Google currently does. Otherwise, there will not be a noticeable shift in the market toward Powerset and away from Google because there is not enough marginal benefit for the substitute.