Komodo is a chess program that is different from the rest. Its search makes greater use of extensions than any other top engine, which allows Komodo to often see deeper than any other engine, even if it is displaying a slightly lower search depth. The evaluation differs from its main rivals because it represents a blend of both automated tuning and the judgment of a grandmaster and computer expert (Larry Kaufman). Fully automated evaluations are subject to rather large sample error, and applying some chess judgment appears to be beneficial, both in results and in the reasonableness of reported evaluations.
Komodo is primarily known for superb positional play. Of course it also one of the the top few engines in tactical strength, but the programmers have not been willing to sacrifice positional play just to score better on tactical problem sets. All good engines are far stronger tactically than any human player, but that when positional judgment is involved, top grandmasters are still superior. Therefore it makes sense to emphasize positional play rather than tactical skill; it is better to improve one's weakest point rather than just to further improve the strongest feature.
Komodo is especially useful for opening analysis, because its grandmaster programmer has always made sure that the program's evaluations agree in general with accepted theory. Komodo also excels in the evaluation of positions with material imbalance, which it handles more correctly than other top engines. The endgame of Komodo has been improved by the use of Syzygy tablebases*, which provide only the most essential information to save time and memory.
Another unique feature of Komodo is its superior performance when using eight or more cores. There is little doubt that Komodo 8 will be the top rated commercial chess engine on most rating lists.