In the internet world, search engines have gone in the opposite direction of most technologies. While users these days have more choice than ever for where they get their information, there seems to be one search engine that reigns over everything – and that’s Google.
So what could anyone be thinking when trying to launch a brand new ‘search’ engine? To answer that, you have to check out WolframAlpha, which just launched over the weekend.
It’s not so much a search engine as much as it’s just the world’s most amazing calculator. Forget your flashy scientific calculators, WolframAlpha can compute 2 + 2 as easily as it compare chart the GDP of Spain and Italy – or it can tell you when the next solar eclipse will be, or instantly calculate the probability of a getting a full house in poker.
While Google may send you to webpages that contain information that you’re looking for, WolframAlpha gives it to you straight without having to leave the site. It’s incredibly powerful and impressive, but is limited in presenting information only to queries that it understands – and right now it’s still a little restricted.