Rasputin - 7:41 am on Apr 9, 2012 (gmt 0)
I suggested exactly the same thing in a thread on here yesterday (only partly tongue in cheek) - it is very disappointing and increasingly common to see sites implementing the microdata for no reason except to please and trick G. So much for 'always do what's best for your users'...
But I don't think they are going to disappear any day soon because they are
(1) social, which G love at the moment
(2) a way for G to pull together information about things into mashup pages, for example for travel destinations, and generate income from them. The way I see it, the stars they show in the SERPS are their 'reward' to encourage webmasters to use them - and in due course they are likely to combine the information for their own goals.
Likewise their current task of accumulating millions of items of data about everything possible (to be shown in search results later this year I think - see [webmasterworld.com...] will also be made easier by the use of microdata but is likely to benefit G rather more than webmasters.
Someone less cynical might say it also enables them to provide more accurate search results...