Does Wolfram Alpha Give Microsoft's Bing Any Leg Up?

search engine

Either way, it's a go. Microsoft confirmed a number of tweaks to Bing Wednesday, including that it will use computational information by Wolfram Alpha for search results such as Body Mass Index (BMI), calculating complex equations and listing nutritional information.

"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," wrote Microsoft Bing Program Manager Tracey Yao and Product Manager Pedro Silva in a Wednesday blog post. "You will begin to see the benefits of this unique partnership over the next several days as we roll it out in the U.S."

"What we're seeing with Microsoft and Bing now is a first step toward taking computational knowledge and deploying it in an application, in this case a search engine," added Wolfram Alpha developer Stephen Wolfram in a video interview on Microsoft's Bing blog.

Whether Wolfram Alpha's computational knowledge engine helps Bing nibble at market share is highly debatable, but it seems a step in the right direction if Microsoft wants to make Bing search more comprehensive.

Sponsored post

Various search engine traffic observers have been attempting to chart Bing's gains since the search engine made its debut in June, and while the numbers aren't always reliable, most, such as data researcher Experian Hitwise and Web traffic specialist Comscore, view Bing's gains as incremental.

The most recent report, from Hitwise, has Bing's share of U.S. Web searches up to 9.57 percent in October 2009, which is an increase from 8.96 percent in September. By contrast, Hitwise awarded Google a 70.6 percent share and Yahoo 16.14 percent. Bing has a long way to go, in other words.