What Autodesk should have done with Maya & Softimage:
Softimage has most of what Maya users want except in the SDK and SDK compatibility. So Autodesk should have created a Softimage meta SDK underneath SDK's for Maya and perhaps Max so that those teams could implement their SDK’s on top of it. This way studios get to keep all their custom development and Softimage gets an even better SDK. They get one app with the very latest in modern SDK's, without a complete rewrite. Convert the Softimage GUI to QT and modernise the OS calls so it runs across all main OS platforms. To make the largest crowd happy, change the look and call the app Maya and see how happy they are with: New modern modeling workflow, symmetry, ICE, mental ray integration, rendering workflow, less workarounds, overrides, supra keys, multiple attribute editors open at once, etc
I agree but I speculate that whoever makes the big decisions at AD looks at some numbers, talks to a few field people and that's the best application for them so there goes the R&D money. Oversimplified sure, but...