How often did I have to read the word Google-challenger or -conquerer over the last few years where the project behind the announcement was not even able to get a market share of one percent. The new one is Wikia, a company with a nice web2.0 sounding name belonging to the Wikipediafounder Jimbo Wales.
According to Wales, the search on the Internet, which is a fundamental part as he has correctly noticed, is defect at the moment. Wales did not put Microsoft, Yahoo or Google into his bookmarks and tried to be content with them but wants to try for himself. His searchengine is already in development since 2002, where it was still a webcatalog (fascinating new approach) and is supposed to include a strong community participation.
The technological foundation is supposed to come from the open-source-projects Nutch and Lucene. This is where the project will fail first. I do not want to say anything against both of these great softwareprojects, we ourselves are using them to search through up to 30 million documents. To provide a comprehensive searchengine for the entire Internet, the index should encompass at least 10 billion documents and I do not think that the software scales that far.