Yahoo Launches Open Shortcuts
Here's my short analysis if the service. Of course it is very biased since I like Ambedo a lot.
You have to be logged in
To use Yahoo's shortcuts you have to be logged in. With Yubnub you always access all commands immediately without logging in. Ambedo allows you to access your tags with a bookmarkable page that allows you to use tags, but not edit them.
Missing instant feedback
This is a problem with both Yubnub and Yahoo. You do not no for sure what will happen before you type a command (if you even remember it). Power users (which are the likely usage group) will have loads of commands and require instant feedback that they indeed have entered the correct command and what will happen before hitting enter to execute. Ambedo does all its tag matching on the client side (it is in fact not ajax as many people think), providing instant feedback before executing on a tag.
Cannot use multiple commands
With Yahoo it's not possible to create two shortcuts with the same name that go to different sites, or possibly where one shortcut accesses the search engine and the other one goes to the site's homepage. Ambedo lets you create multiple tags with the same name that do different things and letting you easily decide what happens client side before it happens.
There is nothing social about it
Yahoo's service is quite boring as there is nothing social in it. Yubnub takes it to the extreme and all commands are shared with everyone, that is you can't have your own personal commands. Ambedo does it differently and provides a directory where you can share your tags with other people and use theirs, but you don't "pollute" your own search box's "tagspace".
Good help and FAQ
There is something that is much better at Yahoo and that's their documents describing the system and explaining how to use it. Ambedo and to some extent Yubnub can improve in this areas.
Missing multiple parameters
Had I created a service like this today, I sure would have created multiple parameter support from the start, something that both Ambedo and Yahoo is missing. (It is since long on my todo list for Ambedo.)
There is nothing new
The release of Yahoo's shortcuts is quite boring, there is nothing new to it! They should have taken Yubnub's and Ambedo's concept and added some new cool feature to it.
Things that I just love about Ambedo, and use every day, is the pattern detection. Enter a domain name and you can do Whois, Alexa lookup, DNS report etc on the domain instantly. It works for other things such as ISBN's and math as well. It is one of the most useful and important features of "the smart search box" imho.
Works in all search boxes
They say that the shortcuts should work in all their search boxes which should be great if that is correct. Does the browser toolbar work then as well? That's one of the things people are asking for Ambedo to have as well. Anyone interested can in fact implement it themselves since Ambedo populates the search box based on the q parameter.
Released too fast?
Yahoo owns really cool properties such as del.icio.us and runs its own MyWeb services. Why did they not connect the shortcuts to those systems? That would make a nice and cool service but now it is like they're having three systems that are similar without an idea what they're doing. Yahoo needs their own project Fusion perhaps?
I'm sure there are other things that I've missed here, but these are the things that come to mind right now. I've been saying it for quite some time now, but there is a cool feature coming to Ambedo really soon. Perhaps during the Christmas holidays if I get some spare time.