Microsoft Nov. 11 inked a deal with Wolfram Alpha to begin offering computational search. Google does not do this, but a company engineer hinted that it is heading there. Right around the time Bing unveiled its deal with Wolfram Alpha, Google added World Bank data to its search service. Users can search for such topics as electricity consumption per capita, or carbon dioxide emissions per capita for certain countries. When is Google going to start calculating equations itself, rather than just surfacing the data from other sources? Google's Ola Rosling responds...
Microsoft continues to wheel and deal with
its Bing search engine, as it seeks to overtake Google, but the leader with 65
percent market share is not sitting still.
The latest duel is in data computation. Microsoft has it,
courtesy of Wolfram Alpha. Google does not, but a company engineer hinted that
it is heading there.
Bing unleashed a flurry of improvements Nov. 11, the most
important being a data deal with Wolfram
, a computational search engine. While
users enter keywords on Google, Bing and Yahoo and those search engines leverage
natural language algorithms to search the Web, Wolfram Alpha is the mother of
a mathematical equation into the Wolfram Alpha search bar, and the site spits
out the input, the result and the "number name," a spelled-out
In a deal for which financial terms were not disclosed,
Wolfram Alpha is making
its computational algorithms and data available through Bing.
Soon when users go to Bing they
will be able to enter mathematical queries and have Bing calculate them through
Wolfram Alpha's API. In Microsoft's example, Bing will also be able to help
inform users interested in finding data points on nutrition. Bing
will be able to tell users whether steak or chicken has more protein, as well
as whether oranges have more vitamins than apples or kiwis.
Previously, Bing would have returned search results based
on the keywords users entered for those nutritional queries. But by leveraging
the Wolfram Alpha algorithms, Bing becomes a computational search engine.
Google isn't there yet, but it appears to be working on similar
technology. Right around the time Bing unveiled its deal with Wolfram
Alpha, Google pulled the trigger on a nifty addition to its public data
The company added
World Bank data to its search repertoire, allowing users to search for
and see graphical representations of statistics for specific world data.
For example, users can search for such topics as
electricity consumption per capita, or carbon dioxide emissions per capita for
certain countries. Users will not only see this info plotted out on a line
chart, but will be able to cross reference that data with other countries by