Now that Google plays in many sandboxes (maps, e-mail, blog search), it's hard for other companies to avoid competition with the search giant. Watson 2.0, a multi-faceted search product, has the unenviable position of challenging Google on all fronts.
Watson, a product from Intellext, searches blogs, websites, news, and documents. The fact that it charges a monthly or annual fee makes its task of usurping Google even tougher. The competitive advantage it offers is that the tool stays on the side of your desktop and goes about its tasks unprovoked, collecting search data while you browse.
After downloading the Watson 2.0 product, whenever we went to a website or searched in a browser, the software often whirred and displayed results on the right-hand side. Other times it sat silent. The first few results produced good links, but the rest were poor. Either our searches confused the product or it does not work well enough to provide a robust return of related websites, blog posts, or news stories.
Watson's unfortunate reality is that Google does a great job for all manners of search. And, perhaps most important, it's free.
Any suggestions for gadgets we should try? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Price $99.50/year, $9.95/month
Available at www.intellext.com
Specs Works on Wintel computers; compatible with Fire- fox, IE; requires 13 megs of
free space to operate