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Wolfram Alpha given keys to the Bingdom

Microsoft gets mathematical on Google's ass

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Microsoft has inked a deal with Wolfram Alpha, making its Bing search engine a high-profile customer of the egghead web product’s API.

Financial details of the agreement were kept secret. Wolfram Alpha, which went live in May this year, recently confirmed that code junkies could now slot the computational knowledge engine into their apps - at a price.

The company lifted the lid on its API last month, allowing developers to query the Wolfram Alpha system and run its data and calculations in tandem.

“Starting today, Wolfram Alpha’s knowledge, computed from expertly curated data, will enrich Bing’s results in select areas across nutrition, health, and advanced mathematics,” wrote the firm’s Schoeller Porter in a blog post yesterday.

“Wolfram Alpha provides immediate, unbiased, and individualised information, making it distinctly different from what has traditionally been found through web search. By using Wolfram Alpha, Bing recognises the complementary benefits of bringing computational knowledge to the forefront of the search experience.”

Microsoft has so far only begun adding Wolfram Alpha’s to its Bing search engine for users in the US. It didn’t say whether the rest of the world might expect to see it rolled out soon.

Unsurprisingly, Redmond was dead keen to point out how thrilled it was to have Wolfram Alpha on board.

“This notion of creating and presenting computational knowledge in search results is one of the more exciting things going on in search (and beyond) today, and the team at Bing is incredibly fired up to bring some of this amazing work to our customers,” said MS product managers Tracey Yao and Pedro Silva in a joint blog post.

US punters can get access to Wolfram Alpha’s algorithms and curated data, which will be slotted into Bing.

“Specifically, we will bring nutritional information and tools into Bing’s search results, as well as some straight up hard math and homework help,” said the Microsoft wonks. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

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