Wolfram Research has announced the release of Mathematica 8, the latest version of its flagship computation, development, and deployment platform that introduces the breakthrough concept of linguistically controlled computing.

Integrating technology of Wolfram|Alpha, the Mathematica-powered computational knowledge engine, makes it possible to enter math or data calculations in plain English and get immediate answers or start an extensive analysis.

"Traditionally, getting computers to perform tasks requires speaking their language or using point-and-click interfaces. One requires learning syntax, the other limits scope of accessible functions," said Stephen Wolfram, CEO and Founder of Wolfram Research.

"Free-form linguistics understands human language and translates it into syntax—a breakthrough in usability. Mathematica 8 is the start of this initiative, but already it is making a real difference to user productivity."

Free-form input is a new entry point into the Mathematica idea-to-deployment workflow, but Mathematica 8 adds a major new endpoint too: generation of C code and standalone executables.

Using Mathematica, organisations no longer have to rely on separate tools for prototyping and deployment insists the company, but can complete the entire workflow with one integrated tool.

"It's amazing that you can start with free-form linguistic input, model, or prototype, and end up with a high-performance standalone program or library... all within Mathematica 8's comprehensive workflow," added Tom Wickham-Jones, Director of Kernel Technology at Wolfram Research.

Mathematica 8 offers more than 500 new functions including:

* Probability and statistics: largest collection of statistical distributions and automatic high-level solvers including parameter estimation.
* Software development: built-in GPU support, automatic code generation and linking, multicore parallelism, and standalone code deployment.
* Engineering: integrated control systems and wavelet analysis.
* Graphs and networks: extensive built-in support for the new science of networks.
* Finance: built-in option pricing solvers, financial indicators, and charts.
* Image processing: enhanced image analysis capabilities, such as feature detection.

"In all of these domains, you will find dramatic depth of coverage," insisted Roger Germundsson, Director of Research & Development at Wolfram Research.

"The functions are designed to work together seamlessly across different domains which allows combining them in new and innovative ways."

Wolfram Mathematica 8

Mathematica 8 is available immediately for Windows Mac OS X /XP/Vista/7, and Linux x86. Mac users on Intel systems with Mac OS X 10.5 or later can run the latest version of Mathematica. Mathematica 8 will run on both 32-bit and 64-bit Intel Macs. System requirements can be found here.

Mathematica Home Edition costs £195 excluding VAT. Industry Licensing starts from £2035 excluding VAT. Users can request a quote for Enterprise & Group Licensing. Educational Licensing including deals aimed are students are also available. Mathematica for Students costs £94.00 including VAT, an Annual Edition costs £35.25 including VAT, an Semester Edition costs £23.50 including VAT.

Users can also subscribe to a Premier Service annually: "To get the inside track on a wide variety of complementary products and exclusive services and discounts that will help you do your work better."

More product details are available on the Mathematica website.

Users can also upgrade, while a free and fully functional 15-day trial version of Mathematica 8 will be available for download here.