Re: Pot and kettle...
Your anit-Google rants are all well and good but so often off the mark.
In the case of Google Earth the API is far less important than the data that is made freely available, which as far as I can tell, will continue to be the case.
Any developer who makes their livelihood dependent upon a company continuing to provide a free service deserves to go bust. The whole point of the free APIs and data is to see what services are possible and popular and, thus, suitable for either for charging or running ads. Google is publicly traded company with a duty to its shareholders to make money. Shock, horror, I know. I don't remember Microsoft ever providing the same amount of services.
As the article points out this particular API now looks pretty outdated and I suspect, though I don't know, that its use is limited. We'll have to see whether a replacement (WebGL, Canvas, PPAPI or whatever) is forthcoming. Some of the of the other APIs to have been retired have been granted both extensions and replacements: Google Charts was due to be phased out this year and has been superseded by Google Visualisation.
None of this means that I particularly like Google (I don't use Chrome and run Cyanogenmod) but I do have a more than grudging admiration for the company's engagement in open source. We'll have to see how much of that remains if the various tax loopholes are ever closed or the EU is able to enforce rigorous data protection and privacy standards from 2016 (when the new law is due to take effect).