Has Google backed the wrong horse in the RIA race?

You'll recall that last week in this space, we discussed the browser-versus-VM competition, spurred by an update from Artima, Rich Internet Applications: VM Runtimes or Browser Standards? It asked the question of whether RIAs can continue to build on the JavaScript/CSS/DOM/Ajax stack, if that'll hold up and not become hopelessly incompatible and complex, or if the future is a VM-based solution in which the RIA runs inside a virtual machine, as with Java (and JavaFX), Flash/Flex, and Silverlight. We noted Apple and Google's bets on the Ajax browser stack, with Apple's support of WebKit and Google's use of Ajax for so many of its apps.

But is that really the right choice for Google? Or have they become a big enough company that they're blinkered into adopting the browser stack because that's what their previous successes are built on? That's the premise of Simon