Disaggree with your conclusion
Everything you said is true, but why the fail?
Linux = Freedom
Google is better
90% of people are going to change it
Sounds like Ubuntu gets money to continue to provide their FREE browser,
and their users have the freedom to keep using Google, and M$ gets to foot the whole bill.
Sounds like a big win for the Linux community, but a loss for Google not offering more money.
Bing will get a decent bump in their numbers from this.
Okay so maybe Google is better is true, but not so absolute these days, my Google searches take longer each day it seems. I really don't think the 10% or so of users who won't change this will be so dis serviced.
I also don't think re-signing with Google is a good idea, they aren't too different from Microsoft these days, just their motto seems to be embrace and extinguish, but do it with a smile.
I expect that like other situation Google will pull the rug out from under Ubuntu the day they are ready to release their own OS (and yes just like MS they will not be able to stop their creep into other markets). I really see Google more like a Heroin dealer these days, they give you enough free to get you hooked and reliant, and then they find the ways to make you pay for whay you have to have. Everyone using google E-mail will be sorry when google knows owns all of their corporate IP, and keeps beating them to opportunities. Google doesn't even have to go criminal to do such a thing. Rather than reading a CEO's email to find out insider information they can just use their analytics.
Try this scenario: Buzz technology "FOO" hits the tech scene. It would take Google days or hours to find out which sites people are talking about in reference to :"FOO". Google could use analytics of key words (anonymously of course ;-) in E-mails, and combine this with search queries. Google can easily and quickly identify the top two vendors in the field, and start buying one out. Or they can invest in Vendor A, and short sell Vendor B. There are countless ways they CAN abuse this information, and no information on record to show they won't.
And with the way Google is cross-referencing and building data pools on everyone, I for one only use them when necessary. I'm glad to see they will collect a little less information form linux users now.