Wolfram Alpha crashed on to the scene some months back as a computational knowledge engine which is a hybrid of software and expert-populated database of theoretically limitless knowledge. A simple query requesting the population of Norwalk, CT where TMC is headquartered for example brings back a result of 83,456 people and states it is an estimate from 2007.
At the time of its launch, the service was hailed as a Google killer but of course it seems we are all obsessed with the violent destruction of market leaders and as such when something which seemed better than Google turned up, many were ready to bet on it. The reality is that Wolfram Alpha is a different service and can be quite useful - but it isn't a search engine.
Of course if you could integrate it with a search engine both the search engine, Wolfram Alpha and the end-user would benefit.
One would imagine Google would hesitate to help Wolfram Alpha. Perhaps they are reminded of how Yahoo relied on Google for search and shortly thereafter Google eclipsed Yahoo in size and importance. They obviously don't want to see Wolfram Alpha doing the same thing to them but then again, this analogy is not really the same and I am sure Google is not too concerned about this new project at the moment.
But Microsoft's Bing is another story and of course it makes sense for them and Wolfram to work together because both entities live in the shadow of Google. So you can expect to see Wolfram Alpha results in Bing searches over the next few days.
While Wolfram Alpha is extremely useful when you are looking to plot formulas on a graph and determine what a dodecahedron looks like, I am wondering when they will help me figure out which direction toilets flush in different parts of the world. Thankfully - for now, I can still rely on Wikipedia to provide answers to such crucial questions. :-)