A brief news update from the ABA provides this quote:
A preview of WestlawNext also reveals it no longer requires users to learn the structure of its underlying databases. Instead, it allows users to enter a simple search term in natural language. As of late December, the company was debating whether to eliminate Boolean searches from the new platform or keep them as an option.
I couldn’t imagine a database that was useful, reliable, and worth my time NOT having boolean. It’s hard enough sorting through irrelevant results or finding hits without structured logical search methods. Many companies are seeing revenues drop (see economy), but when you’re a powerhouse that has grown 5+ % for years, you can ride out a few bad years (w/drops less than 2%); or you can lay people off, disfigure your business model/structure, and put George Boole into the trash compactor. If you want better market positioning, I always felt that more face time, customer satisfaction and service went a lot further than goofy tech updates and costly ice sculptures (looks like West pulled the images since Law Librarian Blog linked to it). Perhaps I’m being too harsh, we’ll see how the new platforms plays out and I may soon be championing product(s) and their dedication to progressing humankind!