Big announcement in the small world of Mac software developers: Karelia Software has sold the technology behind Watson, one of my favorite OS X apps, to an undisclosed “large company” *cough* Sun *cough*. This means Watson will cease to be distributed at the end of July and will cease being supported on October 5, 2004:
As part of the transition, Karelia is planning on having Watson reach its “end of life” on October 5, 2004. After this end-of-life date, Karelia will not be able to fully support and maintain Watson. (Between now and then, Watson will continue to be fully supported.) Hopefully, by that timeframe, the company will have announced a new product that Watson users should be able to migrate to.
Some Web sites that Watson connects to change frequently, so some modules (see below) tend to break frequently. This means that after the end-of-life date for Watson, some tools in Watson will no longer function. Many other tools, connecting to less volatile Web sites, may work for a long time after that date.
I use the movies feature all the time and it will probably cease operation a couple of months after the end-of-life date. But the FAQ offers hope; a new version built by said “large company” is in the works:
Having a large company create and distribute a Watson-like desktop application to access Web services was a great fit for the vision of Watson. Not only can their reincarnation of Watson function on multiple platforms, they will have the resources and clout to bring more and better content to the desktop. And of course, we’ve worked hard to ensure that the new program will function splendidly on Macs!
And so they are…here’s a weblog entry detailing Project Alameda, a rather Watson-esque that does a bit of search, shopping (@ Amazon), and newsreading. Sun missed the whole Web browser thing, but it looks like they’re going to give the microcontent browser a go. Very interesting.
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