Microsoft Bing Now Features Facebook, Twitter, Wolfram Alpha Access

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Microsoft Bing Now Features Facebook, Twitter, Wolfram Alpha Access

by Nicholas Kolakowski

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Within a few weeks, according to a Microsoft spokesperson, Bing will begin integrating Wolfram Alpha into its search engine, allowing users to solve math problems and see other numerical information.

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Bing's Wolfram Alpha answers provide a variety of graphical and numerical information, which could prove useful to not only to users in businesses and academia, but also to students who really need to finish their math homework before "Lost."

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While Wolfram Alpha is primarily geared toward mathematical pursuits such as equation-solving, it can also offer answers to questions on topics of interest to consumers such as BMI and nutrition.

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Wolfram Alpha (original site shown here) bills itself as a "computational engine," one that returns a single answer in response to a query. Its core code base comes from the symbolic code for the Mathematica computation platform, which Stephen Wolfram also developed.

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Bing's expanded video page will provide videos from Hulu, MSN Video and ABC, with 900 television shows on offer. Microsoft likely hopes that a more robust video destination will help it compete better with Google's YouTube.

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Bing's revamp includes a Shopping page with more options.

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Still in beta, and accessible through the "More" tab at the top of the Bing page, Twitter lets you type in a search term such as "balloon boy" and see the latest tweets on the subject.

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Bing Travel offers a more granular search from the main Bing page, letting you set your mouse over "Travel" and from there click to Search Flights or Find Hotels and see other deals through a preview pane.

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Once on Bing's Travel page, the user can quickly see top flights for airlines and travel, search for flights, and see flight listing results.

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A new Bing feature lets users post a message about a product—such as a digital camera—to Facebook or Twitter.

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Bing can now display local city information, such as information about local newspapers, neighborhoods and attractions.

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Bing offers more information on hospitals, displaying reviews, patient ratings and phone numbers, and allowing the user to search the facility's Web page from Bing.

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Bing's Event Search now lets users scour events within a particular city, subcategorized by civic activities, music and other options.

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