Narrower and less accurate than Wikipedia
I entered my home town, and a place where I used to work.
It didn't understand (but Wikipedia has extensive articles
on both places).
So I had a look at the suggested examples. It suggested "Universities"
as an example, so I tried "De Montfort University".
It came up with some interesting statistics such as "year founded:
1896", "Enrollment: 23,000", and "Tuition $3000 per year".
But DMU was actually founded in 1969 (as Leicester Polytechnic),
which became De Montfort University in 1992. Prior to 1969 there
was a School of Art, dating back to 1870. The year 1896 does not
appear to be a significant one in DMU's history (there is no mention
of it on the DMU web site).
What about the 23,000 enrollment? Well, the actual figure for 2006/7
is 21,210 according to the Higher Education Statistics Agency.
Finally, tuition fees are actually £3145 per year (which is about
$4860 at current exchange rates).
So, Wolfram|Alpha currently appears to have a narrower scope than
Wikipedia and the information it does present appears to be of highly
dubious accuracy. Unlike Wikipedia, which often gives links to the
original sources, there are no links to the sources of the "information"
presented by Wolfram|Alpha, so it is impossible to check the accuracy,
apart from searching on other web sites.
Google and, to a lesser extent, Wikipedia are "first port
of call" because they provide links to primary (or at least,
closer to primary) sources. Providing inaccurate information without
an easy way to check it makes Wolfram|Alpha not just useless,
but worse than useless.