The search-engine wars are heating up, said Paul McDougall in InformationWeek. Just weeks after Microsoft launched its new search tool, Bing, and signed a deal extending it to all of Yahoo's Web properties, Google is taking the wraps off it's new "Caffeine" search platform. And, judging by the "rave reviews," Caffeine could help Google maintain its dominance, despite Microsoft's challenge.

It's tempting to see Caffeine as Google's answer to Bing, said Will Knight in MIT's Technology Review, but there aren't many similarities between the two. But Caffeine "undoubtedly" marks an improvement on the current Google Search—it's roughly twice as fast at returning results, it crawls many more pages for a given keyword, and it uses "a more complex combination of keywords to rank pages."

"OK, so there are a few differences" between Caffeine and its predecessor, said Nick Eaton in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. But they're subtle, as Google has upgraded the hidden search-engine infrastructure, rather than the user interface. So the result looks and feels a lot like "the same old Google."