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Microsoft Signs Deal With WolframAlpha

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 28 comments

Microsoft has reportedly struck up a deal with Wolfram Alpha that will see the Redmond-based company license some of the latter's data to display in Bing search results.

TechCrunch today cites sources close to Wolfram that say the two have finally struck up a deal after long talks. According to TC, Microsoft had been speaking with Wolfram for months, with discussions going as far back as May.

For those of you who are unfamiliar Wolfram Alpha, the site shares something with Bing in that it also refuses to believe it is a search engine. Preferring to call itself a computational knowledge engine, WolframAlpha aims to eventually have the kind of question-answering capabilities people always imagined computers would one day have. Instead of searching the web and returning links, WolframAlpha generates output by doing computations from its own internal knowledge base.

WolframAlpha is a lot of fun to play around with. Unfortunately, the site is still quite new, and so, many find that it's not as functional or simply can't find much use for it at all. Whether or not Bing can benefit from WolframAlpha data is pretty much a no-brainer. Already in a great position for search, adding more results and data can't do any harm. It could also help bring more people to WolframAlpha as the site improves.

How many of you have used WolframAlpha since it launched in May? Did you see any potential (for a standalone site or otherwise)? Let us know in the comments below!

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  • -4 Hide
    masop , August 24, 2009 5:14 PM
    I've never heard of Wolfram Alpha.
  • 0 Hide
    davisorle , August 24, 2009 5:21 PM
    Interesting. Cause, it might actually even suck now but could literally improve into something groundbreaking when it comes to info generated from your own searchengine ( if persay bing doesn't get dropped and unused).

    This kind of feature could be amazing futurewise and sounds as promising as useless as it is at the momment.
  • 0 Hide
    alikum , August 24, 2009 5:22 PM
    Now you have
  • 2 Hide
    Honis , August 24, 2009 5:24 PM
    I've used it as a simple calculator before. Its about as functional as a TI-89 the last time I used it.

    I think its an awesome search engine concept. Its like Ask Jeeves Googleing Wikipedia and handing you the answer instead of links to possible answers.
  • 5 Hide
    jsloan , August 24, 2009 5:46 PM
    adding WolframAlpha is great idea...

    i wonder why google has not innovated of late... why didn't they make a deal with WolframAlpha. appears being #1 has made them narcistic .

    microsoft + yahoo + WolframAlpha should give google should be an interesting fight...

    microsoft should look to partner with dictionary.com as well. won't hurt to add a bunch of references. so people can do define narcistic and it will tell you what it is...
    ive tried WolframAlpha when it first came out, while very powerful I found it of limited use to the kind of srearches that i do.

    regards to Bing, I've changed my default search to it because I got tired of all the junk google comes up with. It works for the most part, but from time to time it does not come up with anything and I have to resubmit my search to google.
  • 1 Hide
    SirCrono , August 24, 2009 5:49 PM
    I've used wolfram alpha, mainly to solve differential equations when i'm not at home, it's quite useful.

    It's also fun to see which famous people share birthdays with you.
  • -1 Hide
    domenic , August 24, 2009 5:53 PM
    "computational knowledge engine"?? KISS
  • 1 Hide
    skykaptain , August 24, 2009 5:54 PM
    I think WolframAlpha is what Mathmatica 7 should have been for those of us not code-savy. If I need to do any complex math my TI-89 can do it easier than Mathmatica, no 15 lines of code to do one simple integral. Just my $.02 as for me and code do not go well together.
  • 0 Hide
    pkellmey , August 24, 2009 6:14 PM
    Bing gives me much better results recently than Google. Now with WolframAlpha KB, that should improve even more. If Ask.Com could back-end on Bing as well, I think it would be unstoppable in the market.
  • 4 Hide
    Major7up , August 24, 2009 6:21 PM
    WolframAlpha_fantrannyWolframAlpha is utter shit, it's a fine example of how to make a quick buck creating a pointless technology firm, then selling it to Microsoft. Well done.

    Sounds like you didn't bother to take teh time to learn about what WolframAlpha is all about. It is a new concept and and alpha for Christ's sake! You get out of things what you put into them, put shit in and you get shit out. Good job!
  • -2 Hide
    masop , August 24, 2009 6:51 PM
    alikumNow you have


    That is a very constructive response, lol.
  • 5 Hide
    chaohsiangchen , August 24, 2009 7:12 PM
    I sense a disturbance in the Force.
  • 4 Hide
    masop , August 24, 2009 7:22 PM
    chaohsiangchenI sense a disturbance in the Force.


    No blasters! No blasters!
  • 1 Hide
    gekko668 , August 24, 2009 7:47 PM
    Today Microsoft signs a deal with WolframAlpha, tomorrow they'll buy them out, the next day MS get sue for patent infringement and by EU.
  • 1 Hide
    Maxor127 , August 24, 2009 8:12 PM
    I thought Bing was a ripoff of WolframAlpha from the beginning. WolframAlpha is actually a very useful search engine with lots of nice features. Bing has a nice interface but it basically seemed like Google in WolframAlpha clothing.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , August 24, 2009 8:19 PM
    QUOTE: "Sounds like you didn't bother to take teh time to learn about what WolframAlpha is all about. It is a new concept and and alpha for Christ's sake! You get out of things what you put into them, put shit in and you get shit out. Good job!"



    The implementation is crap, it's all but useless as any kind of seriously useful search engine. I don't care if it's alpha or not, it works so poorly that it shouldn't have even been made public yet. If it worked halfway properly, it would be a great idea, but it doesn't, so it's not. There is no gold medal for epic-ly failing with a "great idea".
  • 0 Hide
    mlopinto2k1 , August 24, 2009 8:22 PM
    QUOTEHow many of you have used WolframAlpha since it launched in May? Did you see any potential (for a standalone site or otherwise)? Let us know in the comments below!


    Does anyone actually answer the questions without having to have a bitch match? Jesus, I have used it and I guess I am dumbass because I really couldn't ask it any cool questions it had answers to except the examples it would show. I mean, don't get me wrong, I got it to do some cool stuff but other then that it really wasn't TOO useful for ME. Maybe I will realize I could be using it for other things but in all seriousness, it just seems like a college students dream toy. No?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 24, 2009 8:42 PM
    If Wolfram Alpha becomes a big success, Maybe it could eliminate Search Engine Poisoning from the equation.
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