'Google Killer' Search Site Clever, but Not Killer
WolframAlpha analyzes existing data to answer questions
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted May 18, 2009 8:36 AM CDT
A WolframAlpha screenshot.   (WolframAlpha.com)
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(Newser) – The search engine some are calling a “Google Killer” launched Friday, and tech critics see potential—though the science-heavy searcher is no replacement for Google, notes Mike Harvey in the Times of London.

  • WolframAlpha “takes serious scientific data and produces answers that simply don't exist as easily or as accessibly elsewhere,” he writes. “It can do calculus, regression analysis, and gene coding. In short it is the best calculator on the web.”

  • But “too often it doesn’t have the best answers for basic questions and searches,” notes Erick Schonfeld in TechCrunch, who searched his own name. “It came back with the distance between Erick, Oklahoma and the town of Schonfeld in Germany.”
  • Maybe the site’s just not “ready for prime time” yet, writes Michael Hickins in InformationWeek. “There's nothing more frustrating for a user than not getting the expected result from an online tool, and nothing worse for a website than to fail to live up to its own hype.”