I understand from emails I received that Westlaw Classic is going away on July 1, 2014. It was last summer when the folks at Three Geeks and a Law Blog noted that WestlawNext Accounted for 80% of the Westlaw revenues. The post there predicted Classic would go away at the end of 2014. That was almost right, but certainly right enough for a prediction.
I remember the WestlawNext introduction tour. I wasn’t sure about WestlawNext at the time. The “Google”-ization of the search box was an interesting concept. I wasn’t keen on it then because the new platform seemed more search oriented than browse and search. That has changed over time with various interface adjustments. Gone, for example, is the need to put a prefix before a search to indicate that it was Boolean. I still use the Classic platform on occasion for some tasks. There is the familiarity factor at work here. I won’t necessarily miss Classic when it goes away. WestlawNext is pretty solid at this point.
Turning to Westlaw’s competitor, Lexis has seemed to go in the opposite direction with the LexisAdvance interface. I thought it was a good product when it was introduced. The standard database list was available along with a souped up search box. That changed essentially into the interface we have now. I know that Lexis has received its share of withering comments over Advanced. I certainly have made my thoughts clear to the company. I could elaborate here but there is no point. I am aware that Lexis is beta testing a new interface that it says addresses customer concerns. The last target date I heard for release was sometime this summer. My attitude is that I would prefer the company to get it right than put out an improvement that still needs significant work. — Mark