i haven't played since 2nd ed. but intend to start again sometime, so i've been checking it out as well. to me it doesn't seem that far from the general d20 (which i guess is derived from 3rd ed.)
i like a lot of the simplification.. i think the complexity of rules (eg. the dizzying array of polearms with the "vs. armor class" table..) was part of the intrigue but detracts from roleplaying. i remember tons of rpgs in the mid-late 80s with very similar systems.. for me, the idea of rpg has kinda transcended form a commercial product to an ideathat doesn't require a product.
i'm guessing it's basically like any other business.. you need something new to flog every now and then to keep revenue rolling in, make everyone update... (then buy the old ones as well for compatability and reference..)
i'm guessing when i get there it's more likely to be a d20 derivative with maybe a couple dozen hastily written pages with a very generalised magic system (eg. a single 'offensive' category instead of fire, ice, whatever.. ranges like japanese "kore sore dore" by me, by you, over there..)