Somewhere around the 10-Sep, Google changed it's alert policy to use HTML emails and also linked it's Alerts to a GMail account (of course for better manageability). Sort of slowly tying in together all the pieces. Wait for the ultimate assimilation - GMail, Google, Google News, Picasa, Blogger, ... :)
And there's the talk about the GBrowser, IM and an OS. Wait and watch !