Wolfram Alpha bursted onto the scene with a lot of fan-faire but little in know-how. There was a lot of interesting thoughts in the Operations Research blog world as far as potential applications. I decided to give it a try and wouldn't you know that with the "optimization" keyword search term gave me a really interesting result
Apparently Wolfram Alpha will return several algorithm resources to find global, constrained, and local points on a graph. Sure this isn't mathematical programming but I bet we can search further.
Second I used the keyword "linear programing" and got the following return.
Wolfram Alpha returned a mathematica function for applying linear programming algorithm. I put in an example from the Definition site and it return a set of optimized values. This is very interesting indeed. Of course this is very simple but it would be really interesting to benchmark the Wolfram|Alpha website for some more complex formula and data sets.
I am very intrigued by the possibilities this could lead to for the Operations Research community. This is a free service provided by Wolfram|Alpha. Could there be more community-based or "cloud" services for the Operations Research community. Currently the NEOS Server project provides a free optimization solver. Wolfram|Alpha has a variety data sources as well as other mathematical formulations. Perhaps this is the future of optimization solvers.