Wolfram Alpha Open to Other Bing-Like Conversations

    December 19, 2009
    Chris Crum

As I’ve noted in the past, Wolfram Alpha, the much-hyped search computation engine that was supposed to be the future of search hasn’t exactly set the world on fire. As of November, Compete data indicates it was receiving under 300 thousand unique visitors in the US. To put that into perspective, Ask.com had over 41 million.

However, that’s not to say that Wolfram Alpha is a failure. Not only is it still quite young, it is a much different animal than the average search engine, as has been discussed anytime Wolfram Alpha comes up in conversation. Those who search for the kind of results Wolfram Alpha offers seem generally impressed.

Microsoft recently launched some new features for its Bing search engine, and among those was the integration of some Wolfram Alpha data. Just like that, it seemed to dawn on the search industry that maybe this thing could indeed play a significant role in the future of search, perhaps not as a standalone engine (it’s hard to get the average searcher to go to WolframAlpha.com), but maybe behind the scenes. Maybe the average person has no idea what Wolfram Alpha is, but if they use Bing, they may be using it anyway, and they may really like those results.

WebProNews recently interviewed Javed Panjwani, the Business Development Executive at Wolfram Alpha:

Among other things, Panjwani says that they look forward to more and more of those "kinds of conversations," as he talks about the engine’s integration with Bing. We can only speculate, but does this mean they will pursue relationships with other search engines? Google perhaps?

I’m not trying to start any rumors about any possible deals or anything, but Wolfram Alpha’s attitude seems quite open to such a thing. As Google likes to "organize the world’s information," it’s not hard to imagine them being able to use such a "computation engine." It could be at least as useful as the real-time results they’re now indexing.

People have no doubt suggested the possibility of such a match-up in the past, particularly after the Bing deal was brought into the public eye. This could be something to keep an eye on. We’ve seen repeatedly now that Google does not want to be upstaged by Bing.

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