Wolfram Alpha Launches Its First Desktop App

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Wolfram Alpha, the “computational knowledge engine,” just launched a desktop app for Windows 7 PCs through Intel’s AppUp store. After launching numerous iOS and Android apps (including for the B&N Nook and Amazon’s Kindle Fire), this is the first time Wolfram Alpha is introducing a dedicated desktop app for its service. The application costs $2.99 and is only available through Intel’s store.

There are a few oddities here. First of all, it’s not clear why you would really need a dedicated desktop app for Wolfram Alpha. The app, after all, doesn’t really offer anything that the free web-based service doesn’t also offer. According to the product page, the main selling point here seems to be that you don’t need a browser to use it. For most people, using a browser isn’t much of a hassle these days. The only semi-compelling reasons to use the desktop app are that it comes with “a specialized keyboard” (that’s a software keyboard, of course, not a hardware one) and “extended copy and paste support.”

The other oddity is that Wolfram Alpha is exclusively selling this app trough Intel’s AppUp store, the company’s app store for PCs and MeeGo-based devices. We weren’t able to track down any user numbers for AppUp, but the fact that even the most popular free app in the store only has one review makes us think that it isn’t a huge hit by any means.

According to today’s announcement, Wolfram Alpha plans to bring all of its mobile apps to AppUp, starting with its Course Assistant apps. There’s no mention of other stores or platforms, so it’s not clear if the company has any plans to bring its own desktop apps to Apple’s Mac app store anytime soon.