WolframAlpha has finally launched and this article takes a look at some of the features that may be useful to the IT crowd. If you're looking for a good explanation of what WA is then have a look at Stephen Wolfram's intro.
1) Estimation tools
Next time you ask your developers for an estimate point them to Wolfram's excellent set of metric computations...
Spotting trends can be hard however Wolfram can give you several perspectives on simple data streams. Drop a sequence of numbers in and the output will be several computational perspectives that will help you to spot patterns or even trends. Pretty useful when building estimation models. Try these statistical examples.
2) Present Value and other financial features
Essential for Cost Benefit Analysis, Wolfram provides a several view of projected value earned over time. Here's an example.
3) Website info
Drop your own URL in and see a breakdown of statistics. Still a bit basic but I think it has potential.
4) Historical Money
Great little feature that allows you to find out the value of money at different points in time. For instance you could find out how much $100 USD in 1900 is worth today.
5) Salary and wages
Wolfram allows you to input different job titles and returns the salary stats for comparison. These can even be targeted to a specific location. I've tried a few variations with out much success but I suspect this feature will be developed as the demand ramps up.
The release of a computational search engine like WolframAlpha is a very significant event and although this tool won't compete directly with Google, I believe it's on a par. Technologists and business people should definitely take note.