A new revolutionary search engine, known as “Wolfram Alpha”, which is regarded as a potential rival to the internet giant Google by some experts, has finally gone live.
The search engine is described as a “computational knowledge engine” that computes answers instead of pointing to the websites containing related information, and thereby intends to change the manner people use online data.
Named after the British-born computer scientist Steven Wolfram, the new search engine aims to offer users direct answers, which at times may be quite detailed in scope, to their queries rather than directing them to other websites.
However, in addition to Google, the new search engine also seems to take on Wikipedia by providing the required answers to the users’ queries by just simply entering the requisite search term in its search window.
The service presents users with annotated pages of required info rather than a list of websites; for instance, the search engine can compute distance between two cities, population of a country at some specific time, weather data, and so on.
In addition to these features, the service can also handle various mathematical queries, produce charts and plot statistics of different natural events, such as weather details.
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Wolfram Alpha has been hailed by many as one of the few true competitors to Google but it seems that it actually complements rather than compete with the search giant. It is very likely that it will end as an acquisition target for one of the search giants out there. We did encounter some issues when trying a few queries and the website would often just die on us. But when it worked, the results were impressive.