Bing and Wolfram Alpha take on Google. Is Google facing real competition in the future?
Over the last month or so there has been a lot of talk about Microsoft’s Bing Search engine and Wolfram Research’s Wolfram Alpha Answer Engine. The talk has been mostly about how these two “search/answer” engines will compete with Google.
What’s different about Bing?
The claim is that is seems to work better than Google for finding real product information and reviews. Google leverages keyword searches that alter particular searches. What I mean by this is that when you do a search on Google the results are sometimes governed by websites that have tweaked their coding to help their ranking on a particular search. I guess you can say that Bing is a lot cleaner in its search criteria. For now…
It is my understanding that some of Google’s commands still work with Bing, which makes the transition from Google to Bing a lot easier. For instance, the “search” (the quotes for a particular word) will work in Bing. I think overell Microsoft is aware that it will take time (some years) to come close to Google’s popularity. I think a more reasonable aim is to take on Search engines like Yahoo!, Ask Jeeves and some others.
What’s different about WolframAlpha?
This one is a bit more interesting. WolframAlpha proclaims to be an answer engine and not a search engine at all. Huh? Let me explain. Wolfram Research states that the “answer engine” is like a student asking a question and a professor giving a direct answer. So basically, you enter a key word or phrase into the WolframAlpha engine and instead of getting back a whole lot of links to different websites (like Google and Bing), you get an answer or data based on your keyword of phrase. For example, when I typed in Miami in the WolframAlpha engine, it gave me the history of Miami and other key statistical data. I would encourage everyone to at least test out the new engine. Wolfram Research also states that the engine can solve complex mathematical equations, which is interesting for some academics.
Both engines are still in their Beta stages, so they are very much still infants. That being said, I think taking on a monster like Google is no easy task. I believe Bing is more like Google and it has the greatest potential and could be a viable alternative to Google in the future. Wolfram I believe is too technical for the general population and the search experience is a bit cumbersome.
Till next time,