Microsoft integrating Wolfram Alpha and Bing

On its Bing Blog, Microsoft has revealed it is working to bolt together high-powered search engine Wolfram Alpha and its own Googlealike, Bing.

According to MS program manager Tracey Yao, one of the things the company has tried to do with Bing is to bring customers the information they are looking for, presented in a useful way.

“If we can adequately infer a user’s intent, we can bring them a much more compelling experience than an endless list of link,” says Yao. “We can bring them real knowledge and get them closer to the answer they were looking for or the decision they were trying to make.

“We believe lots more can be done for our customers. Today we are excited to unveil some work we have been doing with Wolfram Alpha. Wolfram Alpha is an ambitious (and very cool) project to, as the company’s website says, “make all systematic knowledge immediately computable by anyone.”

Microsoft says it will provide access to Wolfram Alpha’s advanced algorithms from inside Bing. It cites an example of how some 90 million Americans are on a diet every year, which means keeping track of your diet and physical condition is important to many people. 

Bing and Wolfram Alpha will supply improved nutrition results in order to help you make more informed choices on your diet.

“By using our API, Bing will be able to seamlessly access the tens of thousands of algorithms and trillions of pieces of data from Wolfram Alpha, and directly incorporate the computations in its search results,” adds Wolfram Alpha’s Schoeller Porter.

“When searching for specific food items on Bing, you’ll get a nutrition quick tab that allows you to learn more about it. You also get a nutrition facts label at the bottom of the results page that summarizes all information on that food item in a very familiar and friendly format.”

None of this functionality is live yet, so you’ll have to check out the examples over on Microsoft’s Bing Blog here.

And while we’re at it, perhaps someone could let us know why UK users of Bing are still presented with a beta version of the product.