Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Microsoft Signs Deal With WolframAlpha

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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