Jumping in *way* late on this thread:

Regarding Google: I spent some time talking to Alex Martelli of Google
at OSCON and asked him about Ruby at Google. His bottom line was that
Python does the job, it does it rather well and they have no interest
in adding a fourth language to their three--language codebase (Java,
C++, Python). However, I've heard rumors that the Google satellite
office in Seattle has some Ruby stuff happening, largely due to the
efforts of Steve Yegge.

Regarding Microsoft: It's true that MSFT wants to make their developer
platform better than the competition (Java/Sun). It's also true that
there are some balancing forces in the .NET world with Mono - if all
of your code is C#, Mono makes it less painful to switch *away* from
Windows. Remember that Java's WORA also made it easier for folks to
switch away from Sun hardware / OS.

The bottom line is that *dynamic languages* are a key strategic area
for Microsoft's developer platform. They placed their initial bet on
Python and that's working out rather well as IronPython is rapidly
approaching 1.0 (they're in RC1 right now). They're also placing
another bet by returning Visual Basic to its more dynamic roots. I
think it would be a great idea if they made a strong bet on Ruby.

So if Microsoft or Sun made a strong bet on Ruby, the other would
invariably be forced to counter it. And the total amount of money is
relatively small - IronPython was created for probably less than $5MM.
I doubt it would cost that much for Ruby on top of the CLR, especially
since a lot of the groundwork was already done by the IronPython
project.

-John
http://www.iunknown.com