I mentioned in my 10 predictions for 2010 that both Westlaw and Lexis would have new interfaces for their research products by the end of the year. In reality, I was kind of hedging my bets on this one because I actually knew these changes were already coming. Last month I was talking with a consultant who casually said something like “Boy, people are going to be scrambling when Westlaw comes out with its `Project Cobalt` next year.” At that point I immediately knocked him out of the way and did a quick Google search for “Project Cobalt” AND Westlaw. I found some subtle hints about Project Cobalt in an investor’s meeting, and in a Financial Times analyst comment. So, change is afoot at Thomson Reuters!!

As I was trying to find out more, I contacted some friends and found out that Lexis is also working on a new interface for its legal research product. Not only that, but rumor has it that Lexis is also working to help firms create interactive pages within the firm’s Intranet that will help access Lexis resources without leaving the look and feel of the firm’s Intranet page. I haven’t seen the “code name” for this project yet, but I’m really hoping they go with something called “Project Diablo Rojo”!!
Jason Wilson has a very good breakdown of what information is currently available on West’s (or as Jason now calls them “Thomson Reuters Legal” or “TRL”) Project. Also, Joe Hodnicki mentioned it a few days ago. I’m also supposed to meet with Westlaw’s Andy Martens (VP of Product Development) sometime soon to discuss (and hopefully demo) the Project Cobalt product. Apparently, there was an in-house demo of the new project yesterday, and the test engineers at TR said it will be released in February, probably at LegalTech according to West’s new teaser website.
If any of you know more about Lexis’ planned changes for this year, please let me know and I’ll start pestering the Lexis folks for more information.