Bing And Wolfram Alpha: Too Late To Challenge Google?

Wolfram Alpha is impressive but may be too unnecessarily complex for the average Web surfer. It is not a search engine but an underlying technology for searching -- a computational data engine. It's created by noted scientist Stephen Wolfram and offers search results based on factual questions.

For example, in a blog by Barney Pell, Pell lists different search results from queries using Wolfram Alpha:

Querying "ISS:" generates a graphic rendition of the international space station orbiting earth and updating in realtime.

Querying "gdp france" showed amount and graph of how it changed over time. "gdp france/germany" showed graph with both amounts and the ratio.

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Querying "internet users in Europe": showed total, and a chart of usage by country in Europe, at the current time, specifically highlighting the biggest and smallest.

The question arises, though, outside of scientists and engineers, who makes queries that specific in nature?

Wolfram Alpha is great for very specific query search results or returning statistical data. For example, an input of the word "Google" yields Google's last stock trade price, a stock price history chart and other numbers like revenue, amount of employees and net income.

So what about searching on topics or people? A query of "van gogh" yields a table that displays the artist's full name, dates of birth and death and place of birth and death. A query using the phrase "how to bake bread" yields a chart on the nutritional information on bread.

Meanwhile, Google's page rank-oriented and natural language search technology is what the Web surfing populace has grown accustomed to.

Microsoft will most likely incorporate Wolfram Alpha into Bing's current search in such a way as to give more "real-life" searches as well as the very specific data Wolfram Alpha churns out.

However, as a draw to pull the average Web surfer away from Google, it seems like the Bing Wolfram Alpha team may be too late on the trigger in the search engine market.

Wolfram Alpha is a search achievement but most likely will mainly impress those in the fields of computer science, engineering and math and may be just confounding to the masses more used to Googling.