Wolfram Alpha, the computational knowledge engine launched by Wolfram Research in 2009, is now available as a desktop app for Windows 7, but only via purchase from Intel’s AppUp Store. The app can be purchased for $2.99.
Wolfram Alpha is free on the wolfram.com website so it is not clear why Wolfram is launching a paid version on Intel’s AppUp store, and only on the AppUp store. The product page for Wolfram Alpha at the Intel AppUp store promises: “Across thousands of domains – with more continually added – Wolfram|Alpha uses its vast collection of algorithms and data to compute answers and generate reports for you.  this app give you full access to the full power of the Wolfram|Alpha computational knowledge engine” followed by a long list of what appears to be hundreds of academic subjects and ‘domains’ starting with Mathematics topics.
However, the same free Wolfram computational engine can be accessed directly at the website and does not appear to be different from the desktop app now available at the AppUp store for $2.99. The webpage for Wolfram|Alpha similarly promises: “Wolfram is an engine for computing answers and finding knowledge. It works by using its vast store of expert-level knowledge and algorithms to automatically answer questions, do analysis, and generate reports.”
TechCrunch contributor Frederick Lardinois noted this ‘oddity’ and another, that Wolfram|Alpha can only be purchased on Intel’s AppUp store, which does not seem to have had much success so far: “We weren’t able to track down any user numbers for AppUp, but the fact that even the most popular free app has only one review makes us think that it isn’t a huge hit by any means”, Lardinois said.