I'm going to ask that everyone read this...
HTML Microdata - W3C Working Draft 25 May 2011
The Big 3 (2), were part of the specification development. This is not something that "they" came up with. It has been a Working Draft for quite some time. At least back to Jan 22, 2008.
I read "The False Choice of Schema.org" and there wasn't one mention of the W3 Microdata Specification. The guy who wrote that piece is a Chair on the W3 RDFa Specification. I'm a little confused as to why he's fighting the organization he works with.
Here's the thing. It's a done deal at this time. There was plenty of time over the past few years to get involved while the Working Draft was being assembled. Where were these folks then?