Microsoft Signs Deal With WolframAlpha

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!

  • masop
    I've never heard of Wolfram Alpha.
  • davisorle
    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.
  • alikum
    Now you have
  • Honis
    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.
  • WolframAlpha 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.
  • chuckdalton
    is there anybody who can't find what they're looking for with google?
  • jsloan
    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 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.
  • SirCrono
    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.
  • domenic
    "computational knowledge engine"?? KISS
  • skykaptain
    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.