Bing smartens up with Wolfram Alpha

Bing using Wolfram Alpha

Bing has integrated super-smart search from Wolfram Alpha into its own system, months after rumours suggested Microsoft's search engine would do so.

Bing is the first to use the commercial API for Wolfram Alpha's self-described computational knowledge engine.

"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," wrote Schoeller Porter, architect for developer relations, in a blog post. He added the deal had been in the works since earlier this year.

Microsoft said certain Bing searches would use Wolfram Alpha's algorithms and data. "Specifically, we will bring nutritional information and tools into Bing's search results, as well as some straight up hard maths and homework help," said program managers Tracey Yao and Pedro Silva in a blog post.

For example, you'll be able to compare the calories in two dishes - handy for dieters - or calculate your BMI right in Bing. If that doesn't catch your eye, you can always use it to solve complex maths problems.

As with all things Bing, the function is being rolled out in the US over the next few days, but will likely take a while to show up in the UK version. The UK version is actually still in beta, and not expected to be fully released until 2010.

Read on for our review of Bing and Wolfram Alpha.