Encyclopedia Britannica has partnered with Microsoft to supplement Bing’s answers feature. The collaboration was announced on Bing’s official blog and is billed as a reliable way to quickly find what you are looking for.
The answers feature was introduced last month as part of a major Bing update that saw the search engine implement a three column layout. Answers provides a quick tidbit of information based on what you are searching for before digging any deeper.
With Britannica’s involvement, users can expect to find an overview of the search topic, a thumbnail photo and what they call useful facts and figures directly from the encyclopedia’s online database. The service will additionally pull in supporting links from trusted sources Wikipedia, Freebase and Qwiki.
The decision by Britannica to partner with Microsoft will only help to expand their online presence. In March, the company made the decision to pursue an online-only model. Encyclopedia Britannica, the oldest continuously printed English-language encyclopedia, was first printed in 1768 and had been in publication for 244 years.
Google unveiled a similar feature known as Knowledge Graph last month. This service works much like Wolfram Alpha as a “computational knowledge engine” rather than a simple “information engine.” That essentially means that Google wants their search to interpret data as real-world objects rather than simple strings of text. The company feels that by doing this, they will be more equipped to return exactly the information you are looking for.
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