Bing, Wolfram Alpha agree on licensing deal

Summary:Microsoft's Bing search engine and Wolfram Alpha have reached a licensing deal that allows Bing to present some of the specialized scientific and computational content that Wolfram Alpha generates.

Microsoft's Bing search engine and Wolfram Alpha have reached a licensing deal that allows Bing to present some of the specialized scientific and computational content that Wolfram Alpha generates, according to a source familiar with the deal.

Representatives from Microsoft and Wolfram Research declined to comment on the deal.

Wolfram Alpha's unique blend of computational input and curated output has not taken the world by storm, but it is considered an interesting enough take on the business of internet search to attract high-profile attention within the industry.

Wolfram Alpha does not return the usual list of links to pages with search keywords, instead providing answers to questions such as stock prices and complex mathematical formulas — with mixed results.

Bing, on the other hand, is enjoying a solid start in the three months since it made its debut as it gains users, and it will at some point be the default search experience on Yahoo's highly trafficked pages following a long-awaited deal.

It is not clear whether Bing results will carry Wolfram's branding (that is, results 'Powered By Wolfram Alpha'), but there will be some sort of presence.

It is unlikely that Bing is going to turn over the bulk of its results to Alpha, however. In a blog post on Friday, Wolfram founder Stephen Wolfram admitted that linguistic problems are to blame for half of the occasions when Wolfram Alpha does not return a result. That percentage is changing as Wolfram refines the science behind Wolfram Alpha, but it will take some time.

This article was originally posted on CNET News.

Topics: Browser

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