Monday, May 4, 2009

An invention that could change the internet for ever

Revolutionary new web software could put giants such as Google in the shade..

The biggest internet revolution for a generation will be unveiled this month with the launch of software that will understand questions and give specific, tailored answers in a way that the web has never managed before.

The new system, Wolfram Alpha, showcased at Harvard University in the US last week, takes the first step towards what many consider to be the internet's Holy Grail – a global store of information that understands and responds to ordinary language in the same way a person does. Although the system is still new, it has already produced massive interest and excitement among technology pundits and internet watchers.

Computer experts believe the new search engine will be an evolutionary leap in the development of the internet. Wolfram Alpha could prove just as important as Google. It is really impressive and significant. In fact it may be as important for the web (and the world) as Google, but for a different purpose.

1969 The internet is created by the US Department of Defense with the networking of computers at UCLA and the Stanford Research Institute.

1979 The British Post Office uses the technology to create the first international computer networks.

1980 Bill Gates's deal to put a Microsoft Operating System on IBM's computers paves the way for almost universal computer ownership.

1984 Apple launches the first successful 'modern' computer interface using graphics to represent files and folders, drop-down menus and, crucially, mouse control.

1989 Tim Berners-Lee creates the world wide web – using browsers, pages and links to make communication on the internet simple.

1996 Google begins as a research project at Stanford University. The company is formally founded two years later by Sergey Brin and Larry Page.

2009 Dr Stephen Wolfram launches Wolfram Alpha.

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