Jeremy Zawodny wrote up notes on the "Search as a Platform, Where is it Going?" panel at Web 2.0. The panel looks well stocked: Steve Berkowitz (CEO of Ask.com), Udi Manber (CEO of A9), Louis Monier (head of R&D and Search at eBay), Christopher Payne (VP at MSN), and Jeff Weiner (SVP at Yahoo Search). Quite a group.
They seem to have talked quite a bit about personalized search, inferring user intent, and search as a dialogue. Several comments that personalization is hard to implement.
Update: A MP3 recording of this talk is available. It was interesting to hear (guessing from the voices) Udi Manber and Louis Monier argue about whether users want more more powerful tools (Udi) or just want the right thing to happen (Louis). If it's not clear from this weblog, I come down pretty hard on Louis' side.