Google can throw its weight around. Today they announced the acquisition of "Picnik," the online photo editing program. Flickr users are familiar with Picnik as the online editor integrated on that photo site. No word yet on if this affects Flickr or not. Probably not but time will tell.
Not having an online editor was one of the distinctions between Google's Picasa and Flickr. If you've ever fooled around with the Picasa desktop photo editor, you'd probably noticed some of its quirks. One was making edits and then uploading to see the original untouched photo. You could work around that quirk easily enough but you had to work around it. I really like the Picasa photo editor so I plan to keep it. But it will be nice to have the online editor, too - assuming they continue to support a client-based photo editor.