WolframAlpha Integration With Microsoft Likely, But Neither Signed Nor Exclusive
It appears that Microsoft has reached a deal to serve up on Bing some of the scientific and mathematical computational content that WolframAlpha generates, but neither company would confirm the news floating through the blogosphere. Declining to deny or confirm the buzz, John Ekizian, WolframAlpha spokesman, says, "We don't comment on deals that have not been signed." He further intimated that Wolfram would not be precluded from making licensing deals with other major search engines, such as Google.
Theodore Gray, WolframAlpha's cofounder, told Online Media Daily in June that "It's not unrealistic to think WolframAlpha would integrate with Google." That goes for the other major search engines, too, he explained.
WolframAlpha had been billed as the "Google killer," but during its launch in May it became clear the fledgling search engine had hurdles to overcome. During the past two months, the company's team has been working to improve the "computational knowledge engine." Engineers used the summer to make improvements.
Those improvements equate to one code update per week, Stephen Wolfram writes in a post on the company's blog. The company has been expanding the WolframAlpha development team, adding people around the world.
Wolfram points toward 54,233 bug reports and suggestions -- of which 31,006 are now in the implementation queue, boiled down to about 5,800 to-do items.
The site has grown "by a staggering 52% -- adding well over 2 million lines of Mathematica code," Wolfram writes. "There have also been nearly 50,000 manual groups of changes to our data repositories over the past 3 months."
WolframAlpha continues to build new versions of the system and conduct automated tests. During the summer, the company dramatically increased the number and types of tests, both custom-built and those that come from actual query streams.
There have also been nearly 50,000 manual groups of changes to the data repositories during the past three months. "But based on new source files, and new underlying databases, I think it's been between 10% and 15%," he writes.
WolframAlpha also has made infrastructure changes to make the search engine run well on more browsers. There are no longer URLs, such as www12.wolframalpha.com. Wolfram writes that minor change reflects a large engineering effort to optimize load balancing between numerous facilities that house Web servers.
Perhaps that explains why the engineering team has been hard at work. Before integrating with engines, such as Google and Microsoft, WolframAlpha will have to serve up content without missing a beat.