The Open Geospatial Consortium (OCG) has accepted KML (Keyhole Markup Language) as an international file standard for representing Geographic Information. As a result of this the OCG will take over further development of the file format and Google will no longer own it.
KML initially gained wide popularity with the release of Google Earth. I believe that in the long run with KML gaining wide acceptance and popularity, browsers used to view geo-spatial information will be integrated with standard web browsers. May be this would be an opportunity for Google to integrate standard Web Browsing to Google Earth browser they already own. This would enable seamless browsing of HTML and KML files.