It seems as if there is a growing buzz around WolframAlpha. The company, founded by Stephen Wolfram, CEO of Mathematica, is close to releasing a new take on search. Similar to Twitter, which is honing a real-time slant to search, WolframAlpha will differentiate from what we think of as traditional search, by providing direct answers to inquiries.
They position the Company as a computational knowledge engine because, rather than pointing an inquiry, which has a computational answer, to another site, it seems as if this engine has a knowledge base, and engine that will efficiently deliver an answer without a requirement to click away.
This is a big time objective and Stephen Wolfram gives some background to his thinking here .
While spending a few minutes on search, take a look at the Google slides, and counter-slides from Consumer Watchdog, about whether Google is a monopoly.
One of the laws of markets is that when they get large enough, they fragment into many sub-markets. Often-times, these subsidiary markets can surpass their parents in size and influence. I suppose it's no coincidence that Twitter and WolframAlpha, two young entrepreneurial companies are poised to add tremendous value in areas that were ripe for more established companies to pursue, had they not been obsessed with competing in yesterday's market.