closing the new version of google earth as I have already paid good money for stuff that does it betterI might be reading him wrong but I get the impression that he's not overly impressed by it. But, given the comment, I think he might be missing the point slightly.
Astrogeek says more or less the same thing:
As a tool that introduces some basic astronomy concepts, it’s cool. However, as a tool for use by anything more than the greenest amateur it falls short.While it's obvious that Google Sky isn't (currently?) up to competing with much of the planetarium software that most amateur astronomers use (Stellarium, Starry Night, XEphem, Cartes du Ciel, etc...) I doubt that's really the point of it. As I see it, the one important thing that Google Sky offers is a common meeting ground for lots of little projects that people have yet to think up.
We've seen this with Google Maps, Google Earth and lots of other Google projects. The thing that Google tends to deliver best is an API or some sort of common platform that others can use to create useful things. From where I'm sat it would appear that this is the aim of Google Sky too.
For example, I can imagine that it would be easy enough for a keen astrophotographer to publish their images as a Google Sky layer in much the same way as I've done with my conventional photography. I can imagine Stuart providing a KML feed that works alongside his radio telescope twitter feeds. I can imagine using it as an alternative way of navigating an index of my observing logs. I imagine that there's people out there, right now, hacking on layers I've not even thought of yet (and probably never would).
In other words, it strikes me that if you're interested in sharing information, if you're interested in building and maintaining a community, if you're interested in trying to contribute to the popularisation of amateur astronomy, it's easy enough to see that Google Sky is potentially a very useful (cross platform) interface in which interesting things can be built.
I can't help but think that quickly looking at it and seeing that it's not as rich as some of the existing planetarium software is missing the point.