But that also means that it will be easy to port to other devices using different processor types. This way if they port Android to run on (say) ARM and Atom netbooks, the programs people wrote will still work without needing to compile two different versions.
Link please? All the sources I could find are explicitly stating that Android's VM does not have a JIT compiler. This saves memory, but can slow down code that spends a lot of time in the JVM. (The Android guys do say, however, that a JIT is definitely on their to-do list. For what it's worth.)
This is where Android comes in. It wasn't designed just for cell phones; it was also intended to run on netbooks, and Google seems to be going that way. Think about it: an open-source, Linux-based operating system built for small-screen devices, with major corporate support behind it. Microsoft should be shaking in its MS Boots.
The longer-term goal of many (most?) Lunar X-Prize teams is to make money by selling cheap moon missions. What you want may happen in a few years, but they're looking for something simpler on the first mission. Plus, this establishes a baseline for later experiments.